Household fuel takes 2.7 lakh lives a year

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A study conducted by the scientists of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Delhi) revealed that over  2.7 lakhs died every year due to air pollution caused by the emission from household fuel.

The report published in a the journal proceedings of National Academy of Sciences said that the country could make a dent in air pollution and could save 2.7 lakh lives per year just by curbing emission from household fuels like fire wood, dung coal and kerosene which are widely used  for cooking.

The report said that there would be no need of making any changes to industrial and vehicle emission to bring the average outdoor air pollution levels below the country’s air quality standard if the household fuel emission was checked.

One of the researchers Sagnik Day from IIT-Delhi claimed that eliminating  household fuels could  reduce air pollution related deaths in the country by thirteen percent, which is equivalent to 270,000 lives a year.

According to professor Kirk R Smith of  University of California University household fuels were the single biggest source of outdoor air pollution in India.

Urban Update a prestigious journal observes that “the bulk of air pollution originates from burning biomass, such as wood, cow dung or crop residues to cook and heat the home and from burning kerosene for lighting  especially in may rural areas of the world where electricity and gas lines are scarce.

“Electrification and distribution of clean-burning propane to rural areas would help in complete mitigation of biomass as fuel and would cut India’s average annual air pollution to 38 micrograms per cubic meter, just below the country’s National Ambient Air Quality standard of 40 micrograms per cubic meter.”

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