For India, firstly COVID-19 being the biggest concern of the year 2020, secondly air pollution has become the second-highest concern, followed by the economy. After Diwali, cities like Delhi and ten other states have shown a massive deterioration in the air quality. Laws imposed by the supreme court and several measures are taken by the Indian government is getting fail to stop the rise in air pollution.
However, we live in a country where nearly one-third of the population is vague about climate change. People are unaware that their living experience is very much dependent on the changes by the climate.
At this moment, all the three major concerns for our country can be fix up only by encouraging and supporting Industries that cause less pollution. Giving more employment, conserving forests and biodiversity that it supports.
Do you know?
Air pollution is the 4th most lethal killer in the world. Every year globally, 8.9 million deaths occur due to air pollution.
In 2019, in cities that were considered the most polluted, 21 out of the first 30 cities were located in India. Several surveys say that 51% of the pollution is by industrial pollution, 27% is by vehicles, 17% by crop burning, and 5% by fireworks every year.
Has there been any change in the air quality after the prolonged imposition of the nationwide lockdown in 2020?
Yes, there was some improvement in the air quality during the lockdown, but that improvement was relatively marginal. After the month-long process of reopening, pollution levels have again risen. In several cities, the air quality has even fallen to the ‘very poor’ category. After Diwali of 2020, the situation has worsened even more in certain cities.
COVID-19 has been a disease that has affected more than 9 lakh people in India. Due to this disease, about 1,36,700 people have died due to heart and lung diseases. It has recently been claiming that air pollution directly affects an individual and increases the likelihood of dying from COVID-19. Studies have shown that air pollution has increased COVID-19 deaths by 15% worldwide, which is relatively high.
Researches have suggested that the fine particulates in air pollution can extend the infectious virus’s atmospheric lifetime. It also helps the virus to infect more people. The activity of a receptor on the cell surface, namely ACE-2, increases by the particulate matter. ACE-2 is a receptor that is involving in the pathway by which coronavirus infects human lung cells.
Why is it a significant concern for our Future Generations?
Air pollution causes various types of diseases such as lung cancer, asthma, skin allergies, and other lung diseases of which we are already aware.
Apart from these diseases, it also affects human reproduction. Air pollution can alter the structure of chromosomes in a pregnant woman’s fetus if she exposes to pollution from car exhaust. This problem may increase the risk of bearing cancer and other birth-defects by the newborn.
An increase in pollution may even have harmful effects on human skin. Prolonged exposure of human skin to high-level pro-oxidative air pollutants may induce alterations in skin homeostasis. It is the result that adults and seniors who have been living in more polluted places ages three years faster than those living in areas with the least it.
It even threatens brain health. Fine particles known as PM2.5 can alter the size of a child’s developing brain. This problem may ultimately increase the risk for cognitive and emotional problems in adolescence. Researches show that women age 70-80 who are exposing to higher levels of air pollution experiences a more significant decline in their memory and more Alzheimer’s-like brain atrophy.
What conclusion can we draw looking after the current situation?
Seeing all the adverse effects that air pollution can cause, we can eventually conclude that our next generation is truly in danger. Strict actions should be taken by our government. Moreover, the current generation should cooperate with the government to keep control of the pollutants and maintain a suitable environment for future generations.