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Over 99% of India's population breathing air that exceeds WHO PM2.5 guideline

Over 99% of India's population breathing air that exceeds WHO PM2.5 guideline

According to "Different Air Under One Sky" report, Jammu and Kashmir was found to be the only state in India to have any areas where air quality met the WHO guideline for annual average PM2.5. However, less than 1 percent of the state’s population live in the area.

Over 99% of India's population breathing air that exceeds WHO PM2.5 guideline (Photo: Reuters) Over 99% of India's population breathing air that exceeds WHO PM2.5 guideline (Photo: Reuters)

Over 99% of India's population is breathing air that exceeds WHO's health-based guidelines with respect to PM2.5, a Greenpeace India report stated. The report said that India's major population is exposed to more than five times PM2.5 concentrations than WHO annual average guideline. 

The report titled "Different Air Under One Sky" mentioned that 62 percent of pregnant people in India live in the most polluted category, compared to 56 percent in the whole population. According to the report, Jammu and Kashmir was found to be the only state in India to have areas where air quality met the WHO guideline for annual average PM2.5. However, less than 1 percent of the state’s population live in the area.

The report further estimated that infants and a greater proportion of pregnant people were exposed on average to higher concentrations of PM2.5 in India.


AQ station accessibility in India

The report stated that in most states, over 70 percent of the population has no access to an AQ (air quality) station within 25 km. About 71 percent of older adults have no access to an AQ station within 25 km, a slightly higher proportion than in the total population. 75 percent of pregnant people in India have no access to an AQ station within 25 km, a higher proportion than in other population groups.
The states Chandigarh and Delhi have the best access to AQ stations within 5 km (over 90 percent of their population).
 

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