Climate change often termed as the biggest threat to humanity. There are many attributes of climate change, and air pollution is one of them. High emission of CO2 and greenhouse gases, deforestation, and rapid increase in industry numbers are some of the major reasons behind air pollution. Air pollution affects the day to day life of a common man, as they breathe the polluted air regularly. Air pollution often measured by the concentration of hazardous particulate in the air. As a result, it is easier to compare air quality across the world by considering this number.
In 2019, New York City recorded 41 µg/m3 as the worst level of air quality. Though the number is not threating in comparison to cities in India and China, it comes under the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category.
The scenario in California is entirely different from New York City. The region was suffering from wildfire and other issues. As a result, the highest concentration of hazardous particulate in 2019 was 200 µg/m3. The 200 mark is a sign of danger in various western cities. Environmentalists recommend reducing outdoor activities as much as possible.
Asia is in the Limelight
The North region of India was suffering heavy air pollution last month. The capital city of India, New Delhi, recorded a particulate concentration as high as 900 µg/m3 in October.
The EPA guideline suggests that if the particulate concentration is more than 500, it termed as hazardous. Air pollution has a direct impact on the population. According to an estimation, around 4.2 million people died, owing to the polluted air in 2015. Most of the cases were from East Asia and Southeast Asia region. The estimate also suggests that millions of people fall ill due to air pollution.
Burning of coal in various power plants, increasing the number of vehicles in the street, and wildfire contributes the most to air pollution.