Prescribing clean air for air pollution and health.


by MedweiSer Health

Our goal is to promote events that increase air quality awareness and inspire people to take steps, no matter how large or small, to reduce their contribution to air pollution.

From smog hanging over cities to smoke inside the home, air pollution poses a major threat to health and climate. The combined effects of ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution cause about 7 million premature deaths every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.

Eleven out of the 12 most polluted cities on a World Health Organization list were in India.

India is once again heading into the worst time of year for air pollution, a season where the country’s notoriously poor quality becomes even more toxic.

Soot, dust, ozone, and sulfur oxides are a growing threat for billions of people around the world. The World Health Organization reported this week that 93 percent of all children in the world breathe air with pollution levels that exceed their guidelines.

A whopping nine in 10 people on Earth breathe highly polluted air, and more than 80 percent of urban dwellers have to endure outdoor pollution that exceeds health standards, according to the WHO’s World Global Ambient Air Quality Database.

But even among countries gasping for breath, India stands out for air that is consistently, epically terrible.

Cities with the highest small particulate measurements in the world

Country City PM2.5 (µg/m³)
India Kanpur 173
India Faridabad 172
India Varanasi 151
India Gaya 149
India Patna 144
India Delhi 143
India Lucknow 138
Cameroon Bamenda 132
India Agra 131
India Muzaffarpur 120
India Srinagar 113
India Gurgaon 113

World Health Organization

Technically, the WHO doesn’t treat its data as a ranking but rather a measurement of where risks are. But it’s clear from the report that India is one of the riskiest countries in the world to breathe, up there with Bangladesh and Georgia. When it comes to comparing PM10 measurements of the world’s largest cities, India’s capital Delhi comes in with an annual average of 292, ahead of Cairo (284), Dhaka (147), Mumbai (104), and Beijing (92), the Washington Post noted.

Frequent unhealthy levels of pollution from sources ranging from vehicles to the burning of coal and wood for cooking, dust storms, or forest fires affect most of the country. India’s hills and mountains also act as basins that trap toxic air over vast swaths of the country, sometimes making the air too dangerous to breathe. Just check out this map of air pollution from October.

A map of particulate air pollution in India on October 31, 2018.
A map of particulate air pollution in India on October 31, 2018.
 Berkeley Earth

Poverty and air pollution go hand in hand

Though you can find unhealthy air in pretty much any country, the worst pollution these days is accumulating in developing countries with growing populations.

Cookstoves, heating fuel, and kerosene lighting are all common sources of pollution in big cities in developing countries. Poor governance is also a major factor in pollution since lax enforcement of standards for car exhausts, crop burning, or dust from construction sites leads to more particulates in the air.

Some countries like China are making progress. Cities in China have moved down in the rankings, and the government is seeking reforms to keep pollution in check as dirty air has become an increasingly volatile public concern.

Care about your health? Spread the awareness by using #SaveAir

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