Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Nepal 's air quality is worst in South Asian region

Nepal’s air quality is degrading every year making it the worst in South Asian region, according to the State of Global Air 2019 report published by Health Effects Institute.
"From 2015 to 2017, annual exposure of Nepalis to air pollution increased from 96 µg/m3 to 100 µg/m3," the data by the the Boston-based institute revealed, adding that Nepal’s pollution level is soaring, whereas the South Asian region is cutting down emissions. "In 2017, annual PM 2.5 exposure was highest in South Asia, where Nepal (100 µg/m3), India (91 µg/m3), Bangladesh (61 µg/m3), and Pakistan (58 µg/m3) had the highest exposures but Maldives (7.8 µg/m3) had the lowest exposure in the region.
Particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, can enter the lungs and the bloodstream (PM2.5) exposures were highest in South Asia in 2017. Across the world, 3.6 billion people (47 per cent of the global population) were exposed to household air pollution from the use of solid fuels for cooking.
Exposures to ambient PM2.5 have reduced life expectancy by an estimated average of 1 years and 7 months in South Asia and 1 year and 3 months in North Africa and the Middle East. The impact on life expectancy in more-developed countries is far lower, about 4½ months on average in the high-income regions of North America and Asia Pacific.
“In South Asia, household air pollution contributes to an additional life expectancy loss of about 1 year and 3 months, bringing the total life expectancy loss from air pollution to 2 years and 6 months,” the report reads.
In Nepal, the proportion of households using solid cooking fuels in 2017 was 65 per cent (19 million).
The similar study published on Jan 25, 2018 had revealed that air quality in Nepal is the worst in the world as Nepal ranked at the bottom among the 180 countries surveyed in terms of air-quality in a global study by Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
The global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranked the countries on 24 indicators across 10 categories, covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality. Environmental health also includes two other components of water and sanitation and exposure to heavy metals.
Nepal was ranked the last for air-quality among 180 countries, according to the EPI that highlighted air pollution as a leading threat to public health. The report had measured Household solid fuels, PM2.5 exposures and PM2.5 exceedance for measuring air quality of countries included in the study. "With the score of 3.94, Nepal’s air quality has been reported worse than other countries in the region like Pakistan (176th), China (177th), India (178th) and Bangladesh (179th)," it revealed, adding that Australia secured the highest ranking for clean air while the US ranked 10th. 

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