A study by Yale and Columbia universities, ranking the air quality of 132 nations has found that India has the worst air quality in the world, surpassing even China, which has been making headlines recently with its notoriously bad air quality. The study was released as the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and was collected based on satellite data.
In India, the level of fine particulate matter in India is nearly five time over the acceptable limit for humans. Experts say particulate matter causes acute lower respiratory infections and even cancer, and is increasingly seen as a cause of death in areas with poor air quality.
India ranked 132nd with a meagre 3.73 out of a possible 100 points in the air analysis. The next-worst country was Bangladesh, with a distant 13.66. Nepal, Pakistan and China occupied the other spots in the bottom five. In the case of India and China, the extremely poor state of air quality is deeply related to the burgeoning economic growth of both countries.
A recent investigation in India drew attention to the fact that India lacks specific policy to address water polution, and the Indian government has been at a stand-off with environmental groups who oppose mining activity and dams being constructed in the Himalayas and the North East of the country.
Report: India and China equally bad at fighting pollution [MSN India, 2 February 2012]
Report: India has the most toxic air: Study [The Hindu, 28 January 2012]
Report: India's air the worst, says annual study [Agence France Presse, 3 February 2012]
Report: India's air the worst, says study [The Straits Times, 2 February 2012]