China’s endeavors to curb air pollution have paid off as a new study has found that a measurable amount of smog has been reduced in its 74 cities. However, the higher levels of PM2.5 than what is accepted and a significant growth in the air pollution from ozone pollutant are a matter of concern.
The researchers from the Peking University’s School of Public Health studied data of 74 Chinese cities from 2013 to 2017 and unraveled that the annual average concentrations of pollutants, namely PM10, PM2.5 and Sulfur Dioxide had plunged by 27.8%, 33.3% and 54.1% respectively.
The researchers also discovered that there were 47,000 lesser deaths reported and 71,000 lesser years of life lost because of air pollution in those 74 cities in the year 2017 when compared to 2013.
China had come up with an Air Pollution and Control Action Plan in 2013 and sanctioned millions of bucks for the cause to reduce vehicular emissions, smoke from industries and pollution emanated from coal-fired electric generating units.
Five years down the line, indubitably, progress has been made but there’s a still lot more which needs to be done.
China and India are the two leading and rapidly growing countries where impacts of the air pollution on the general public’s health are felt more keenly than anywhere else.
Delhi encountered severely high levels of pollution in June this summer with PM10 levels soaring above 8 times than standard safety levels.
In comparison to the people of Beijing in China, Delhiites breathe 3 times of cancer-causing particulate fine matter, said AK Anwar, one of the researchers at International Institute of Environment and Development, London.
“The government of China could restrain the alarming levels of air pollution as they issued an action plan with stern traffic rules as well as kept a check on the construction activities across the cities. The plan is implemented in November every year when the pollutants levels are at the peak,” Anwar said.
The trick which worked for them was a pre-planned action plan and not waiting until the situation goes out of hands and becomes bad.
Picture Credits: Sunny Suzhou