Categories: Air PollutionAir Quality Index

Cutting down household fuel can reduce Air Pollution saving 2.7 lakh lives in India

The researches from IIT Delhi have recently come to the conclusion that a change to India’s cumulative Air Pollution can be brought down; saving around 2.7 Lakh lives every year. The recent study has brought to light the fact that the reduction or complete eradication of household fuels such as wood, dung, coal, and kerosene can curb Air Pollution to a great extent. Which is to say that cutting down household fuel can reduce Air Pollution and save lives. The elimination of these sources – without making grievous cutbacks on industrial vehicles – could certainly bring the Outdoor Air Quality standard of the country under standard unis. 

Mending the ways in which we use household fuels will bring down the air pollution-related death rate of the county by 13%. Sagnik Dey of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi is one of the researchers who was a part of the study really emphasized that household fuels are a major contributor to the Pollution in the country. Other than that, Kirk R Smith –  A professor at the University of California, Berkeley in the US has also said that Household fuels are the single biggest source of Outdoor Air Pollution in India. 

Smith also said that if they have come to a counterintuitive conclusion that if the entire country only cleaned up their household fuel mess; cutting down household fuel can reduce Air Pollution – Reaching the Air Quality standard that is considered safe. The burning of burning biomass, such as wood, cow dung or crop residues to cook and heat the homes in the rural area has a lot to do with the cumulative decrease in the country’s Air Quality. Using Keosein – Especially for lightning purpose in areas where electricity is scare could be another reason why the Air Quality of the country has become worse with each passing year. 

Also, Read – House Air Pollution – 5 Easy Ways to Reduce Indoor Toxicity

As per the review from 2016, almost half of the Indian population was dependent on biomass for household fuel. Researchers state that this practice doesn’t just generate greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane but the burning produces harmful chemicals and other fine particulate matters that end up sticking into lungs triggering various diseases such as lung cancer, chronic respiratory issues, and other dangerous diseases.

Delhi – The Country capital has often soared past 300 microgrammes per cubic meter when Air Quality is concerned. While mitigating biomass as fuel in the country would never bring the AQI under 10 (Which is supposed to be the WHO standard). It will definitely bring down the levels to a satisfactory average of a little shy of 40 microgrammes per cubic meter which is the current National Ambient Air Quality standard.

Smith also said that “India has got to do other things to fix air pollution—they’ve got to stop garbage burning, they’ve got to control the power plants, they’ve got to control vehicles and so forth. “But they need to recognize the fact that households are very important contributors to outdoor air pollution, too.” 

The solution can only take place when the government agrees and implements widespread electrification and distribution of clean-burning propane to the rural areas of the country. Cutting down household fuel can reduce Air Pollution to a greater extent. Smith hopes that these new findings can push the people of the country to limit or if possible completely eradicate the use of household fuels. A similar programme has helped 80 cities in China which have now slowly led towards normal Air Quality with each passing day.  

Shikhar Verma

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