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Air pollution: Data on ozone-related deaths needs to be scrutinised, says Environment Minister Dave

PTI | Last Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 09:41

New Delhi: Data collected by a government agency shows that ozone levels have not exceeded the permissible levels in India and reports indicating ozone pollution deaths in the country need to be "scrutinised", the Lok Sabha was informed Tuesday.

Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said the report was based on "models, simulations and extrapolations."

"Government is aware of the news report regarding likely impact of ozone on human health. The data related to ozone collected by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for 2016 shows that ozone levels have not exceeded the permissible level of 100ug/m3 at any of the locations during 2016.

"Since the concentration of ozone is less than the permissible limits, the reports published need to be correlated with the data and scrutinized before arriving at any conclusion," Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

He was asked whether the attention of the governmet has been drawn towards the news item captioned "India tops list of countries in ozone pollution deaths" and whether according to State of Global Air 2017 report as many as 2.54 lakh deaths occured in 2015 due to exposure of ozone.

'State of Global Air 2017' report was designed by Health Effects Institute in cooperation with the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and University of British Columbia.

Surpassing China, India now accounts for the maximum number of premature deaths from ozone air pollution in the world, the report had said.

Replying to another question, Dave said the CPCB has carried out epidemiological studies to assess the impact of pollution on human health.

"Air pollution could be one of the triggering factors for respiratory ailments and associated diseases. However, there is no conclusive data avaiable in the country to establish direction correlation between diseases and air pollution.

"Health effects of air pollution are generally synergistic manifestation of the indivudual's food habbits, occupational habits, socio economic status, medical history, immunity, heredity etc," he said.

He said CPCB monitors ambient air quality across the country in association with the state pollution control boards and committees under National Air Quality Monitoring Programme.

"While the levels of Particulate Matter (PM) shows fluctuating trend, the value of SO2 is reported to be generally within the permissible limits. Values of NO2 are also generally within permissible limits except for few cities," he said. 

First Published: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 09:41
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