Clean Air for All

Air pollution affects well-being, but its social implications extend far beyond health.

Air pollution is the leading environmental health risk globally with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating that air pollution is responsible for a staggering 7 million premature deaths worldwide. In India, nearly 77% of India’s population is regularly exposed to air pollution levels above the National Ambient Air Quality Standards safe limits.

‘Dirty air’ is often not visible and particulate matter—often referred by size in micrometers, PM10, PM2.5 and PM1—can lead to cardiac distress and diseases such as asthma and cancer with smaller particles entering deeper into the lungs. Worsening air pollution not only impacts human health, it also reduces crop yields, alters rain fall patterns and affects climate change.

The sources and causes of air pollution vary by place, across seasons and over time posing a daunting challenge to human development. But this problem can be resolved by shifting the conversation from grievances to determining the cause of pollution and how best it ought to be tackle for the benefits of reducing air pollution far outweigh the costs of deployment.