‘Indians may live 4 yrs longer if country achieves WHO air quality standards’

NEW DELHI: Indians would live for about four years longer on an average if the country meets the WHO’s air quality standards, according to a new study.

Noting that ambient air pollution alone may cost India more than USD 500 billion per year, it said it is causing hundreds of millions of people in the country to lead shorter and sicker lives.

A group of researchers has proposed a slew of measures to overcome the issue that includes applying monetary charges for excess emissions.

Indians would be able to live for about four years longer on an average if the country meets the WHO’s air quality standards, the study said.

Under the World Health Organisation quality standards, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) should be 10 µg/m3 annual mean and 25 µg/m3 24-hour mean while the coarse particulate matter (PM10) 20 µg/m3 annual mean and 50 µg/m3 24-hour mean.

To help improve India’s air quality, researchers from the University of Chicago and Harvard Kennedy School have laid out five key evidence-based policy recommendations in a new report titled ‘A Roadmap Towards Cleaning India’s Air’, the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago said in a statement.

The study noted more than 660 million Indians live in areas that exceed the country’s standard for what is considered safe exposure to fine particulate matter(PM2.5). (AGENCIES)