Thursday, August 04, 2011

Pollution Facts

  • According to research conducted by the World Health Organization, around 2.4 million people die every year because of air pollution.
  • In India, air pollution is believed to cause 527,700 fatalities a year.
  • Engine exhaust (diesel and gas) contains more than 40 hazardous air pollutants.
  • Traffic areas around schools - where vehicles are often left idling - show significantly higher pollution levels outside (and inside) their buildings.
  • Emissions from vehicles are producing around 70% of the air pollution. There are about 500 million cars on the planet and by 2030, that number is expected to double to 1 billion cars.
  • Under standard Indian driving conditions, a standard petrol-vehicle is expected to emit over 8000 grams of carbon dioxide per day while travelling. For a usual commuter that amounts to over 1.92 tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted annually by a single vehicle.
  • Under standard Indian driving conditions, a standard petrol-vehicle is expected to emit over 800 grams of carbon dioxide per day just while idling.
  • Many industries are still dumping their waste in water bodies like lakes, oceans or rivers. Bacteria born because of industries dumping their waste in water bodies are responsible for causing of about 250 million water borne diseases annually. Due to these diseases 5 to 10 million deaths are occurring every year.
  • An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash, much of it plastic, is dumped in the world's oceans every year.
  • A staggering 250 million Indians make their living in some form from the forests. At present, India has 70 million hectares of forest cover. But 40% of that cover is sadly, 'open degraded forest'.
  • The cost of one nuclear weapons test alone could finance the installation of eighty thousand hand pumps, giving third world villages access to clean water.
  • Combined with industrial runoff, the garbage thrown into the Yamuna totals over 3 billion liters of waste per day.
  • According to the World Health Organization, each year an estimated four billion people get sick with diarrhea as a result of drinking unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene. Nearly two million people die from diarrhea each year, and many of them are children under the age of five, poor, and living in the developing world.
  • Vapi in Gujarat and Sukinda in Orrisa is among the world's top 10 most polluted places, according to the Blacksmith Institute, a New York-based nonprofit group.
  • Air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels like coal and diesel has contributed to a worrisome slowdown in rice harvest growth in India in the past two decades
  • India, the world's third-largest coal producer, is among the world's top CO2 emitters. - National Geographic
  • India has been ranked as the seventh most environmentally hazardous country in the world by a new ranking released recently. The study is based on evaluation of "absolute" environment impact of 179 countries, whose data was available and has been done by researchers in Harvard, Princeton, Adelaide University and University of Singapore on January 12, 2011.(http://www.gits4u.com/envo/envo4.htm)
  • Vehicle emissions are responsible for 70% of the country's air pollution. The major problem with government efforts to safeguard the environment has been enforcement at the local level.
  • Air pollution from vehicle exhausts and industries is a worsening problem for India. Exhaust emissions from vehicles has increased eight-fold over levels of twenty years ago; industrial pollution has risen four times over the same period. The economy has grown two and a half times over the past two decades, but pollution control and civil services have not kept pace. Air quality is the worst in big cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, etc.
  • Bangalore holds the title of being the asthma capital of the country. Studies estimate that 10 per cent of Bangalore's 60 lakh population and over 50 per cent of its children below 18 years suffer from air pollution- related ailments.
  • Chennai: Exhaust from vehicles, dust from construction debris, industrial waste, burning of municipal and garden waste are all on the rise in the city. So are respiratory diseases, including asthma.
  • Mumbai: The air pollution in Mumbai is so high that Mumbai authorities have purchased 42,000 litres of perfume to spray on the city's enormous waste dumps at Deonar and Mulund landfill sites after people living near the landfill sites complained of the stench.
  • Pune: According to a study by Environment Status Report (ESR) in July 2010, air pollution in Pune has become a serious problem. The respiratory suspended particulate matter (PM 10) in the air is more than the standard national level. About 93,000 commercial properties which include hotels, malls and hospitals emit 204 tonne PM10 every year
  • Delhi: According to a study conducted in June 2011 by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Delhi has high levels of air pollutants and ozone, and the latter has a harmful impact on health and agricultural yield. TERI found that cities like Delhi and Ghaziabad violate annual ambient air quality standards for particulate matter concentrations.
  • Indoor air pollution: Indoor air pollution is the most important cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in India, says a prevalence study conducted by Pune based Chest Research Foundation (CRF) and the Imperial College, London in November 2010. Over 700 million people in India suffer from high levels of indoor air pollution affecting women and young children as 75 per cent homes use biomass fuel like wood, crop residue and dung cakes.
  • The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is working to understand how exposure to environmental agents trigger diseases such as Asthma, and how these diseases can be prevented, diagnosed and treated.
  • Municipal solid waste: With India's urban population slated to increase from the current 330 million to about 600 million by 2030, the challenge of managing municipal solid waste (MSW) in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner is bound to assume gigantic proportions. The country has over 5,000 cities and towns, which generate about 40 million tonnes of MSW per year today. Going by estimates of The Energy Research Institute (TERI), this could well touch 260 million tonnes per year by 2047.
  • Taking a cue from the finding, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) formulated NAAQS and checked the air quality, which led to the revelation about air quality in leading cities.
  • According to the report, Gobindgarh in Punjab is the most polluted city, and Ludhiana, Raipur and Lucknow hold the next three positions. Faridabad on the outskirts of Delhi is the 10th most polluted city, followed by Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal. Ahmedabad is placed 12th, Indore 16th, Delhi 22nd, Kolkata 25th, Mumbai 40th, Hyderabad 44th and Bangalore stands at 46th in the list. The Orissa town of Angul, home to National Aluminium Company (NALCO), is the 50th polluted city of the country.

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