Air Pollution is killing us

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By Husein K Chunawala

Pune : Even people who are healthy and athletic can be affected by air pollution. We often hear the phrase ‘i will go out for a breath of fresh air”. But how many of us realizes that it has become irrelevant in today’s world, because the quality of air in our cities is getting obnoxious, because the moment you step out of your house, you can actually get the glance of air getting polluted.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Air Pollution as, ‘It is contamination of outdoor & indoor environment by any chemical, physical or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of atmosphere, which can cause respiratory and other harmful diseases, which can be fatal to human life. Now as we dig deep here, Air Pollution is aggravated because of four major developments. 1) Increasing Traffic, 2) Growing cities, 3) Rapid economic Developments & 4) Lastly, Industrialisation.

 There are two types of pollution i.e. indoor & outdoor.

Outdoor Pollution:- Many factors play major role in outdoor air. Natural things like volcanic eruption, wild fires, wind currents & trees can affect it some human activities also continent the source. Think of factories and power plants pumping out smoke and chemicals, also when we look into a minor view, we can see the tractors running on farms producing dust clouds.

Indoor Pollution:- indoor Air Pollution can also be referred as house-hold Air pollution. The minor daily activities that happen in our day to day life can be the part of it such as cooking. As study shows around 3 billion people cook & heat their homes using solid fuels i.e wood, charcoal, cow dung etc. such inefficient cooking practices increase indoor air pollution by adding carbon-monoxide & fine particles to air.

 Though natural resources do not contribute much to air pollution, while human sources holds the significant role in contribution to air pollution. Following are the effects or air pollution 1) Respiratory/heart problems; effects of air pollution are alarming, they tend to create several respiratory and heart condition along with cancer. Also studies show that children suffer from Pneumonia and Asthama. A recent study on non-smokers shows that Indians have 30% lower lung function as compare to Europeans. 2) Global Warming: Another real problem the world is facing is Global Warming. With increase temperatures worldwide, increasing sea levels, and melting of ice from colder regions. 3)Acid Rain: Harmful gases emitted from power plants and factories which tend to mix in atmosphere, when it rains it falls on the ground in the form of acid, which cause damage to humans, animals and crops.

Several other effects of air pollution are Eutrophication, effects on wild life and ozone layer depletion. The following are the major pollutants for air pollution. 1) Power-plants and Factories, 2)Fuel adulteration, 3)Fuel burning and 4)Traffic congestion.

These are some facts regarding air pollution; Studies have shown that air pollution leads to significant decrease in life expectancy.

A Pune based study by IITM (Indian Institute of Meteology) reveals that around 3.4 years of life span is decreased in Delhi. As per Hindustan Times records shows 6.3 years of decrease in life span for Delhi. Besides Delhi, those living in West Bengal and Bihar are 6.1 and 5.7 years respectively. According to WHO, air pollution is 5th biggest cause of death in India. Upto 30,000 deaths are observed in Delhi due to air pollution. Also, Delhi holds the 11th position among world top polluted cities.

     The conclusion of air pollution is resulted largely from the things that benefits humans, so if we unite to solve the problem of air pollution we can protect environment as we as human health, so that we can share wonderful green living together.

(Husein K Chunawala is a student of Indira School of Communication)