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India: India is No. 1 in air pollution

Published at: Feb 2, 2012
source: The New York Times

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India's air pollution is the worst in the world. Acoording to a study released during the World Economic Forum even China, Pakistan and Bagladesh are better off than India.

In the study 132 countries were analyzed. Indias air has the worst effects on human healh compared to all other countries in this study. The researchers used satalite data to measure the air pollution concentration. India has extremly high levels of fine particulate matter, which are in the end also a reason for its miserable air quality. These levels are almost five times the treshold were it is unhealthy for people and can cause respiratory infections and cancer. In this context the World Health Organization found that most deaths of children under the age of five are caused by respiratory infections.

Concerning overall environment India ranks No. 125 in the study and still Pakistan and Bangladesh are better off. The problem does not only exist in the bigger cities of India, like Delhi, smaller cities are also increasingly affected.

The main reason for that is the continously increasing number of vehicles, which are extremly polluting. Additionally Indias emisions are way to far away from European standards. Moreover, these emission standards are not legally enforceable.

However, D. Saha, a scientist at Indias Central Pollution Control Board, is not really concerned. Currently, India has other, more important, problems, like poverty, he said.

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