Scientists from the University of Connecticut and China’s Peking University conducted a study recently that showed about one in 15 lost pregnancies in South Asia could be contributed to air pollution in the region, according to the journal Lancet Planetary Health.
WSWS.org reported the study determined that some 349,680 pregnancy losses each year could be tied to “ambient air exposure of more than 40 micrograms per cubic meter of Particulate Matter” (PM2.5).
These women were exposed to levels higher than 40 micrograms of PM2.5, which accounted for “7.1 percent of the total annual pregnancy loss burden” in the region from 2000 to 2016.
The country most impacted was India.
The risk of death from indoor air pollution dropped by 64.2 percent from 1990 to 2019, but deaths due to outdoor air pollution skyrocketed 115.3 percent during the same period.
The report said that nine out of ten people breathe in air that contains more pollution than WHO guidelines. The Institute for Health and Evaluation said air quality in the county was the fifth-highest contributor to mortality in the country.
The latest report said that in 2019, New Delhi experienced an air quality that had PM2.5 levels surpassing 500 micrograms per cubic meter. The WSWS.org report stated New Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal compared life in the city to “living inside a gas chamber.”
The main contributor to the PM2.5 volume is industrial factories and vehicle fumes, according to the study. A report released last week by the University College London found “mounting evidence that air pollution from ongoing dependence on fossil fuels is detrimental to global health.”
“We can’t in good conscience continue to rely on fossil fuels when we know that there are such severe effects on health and viable, cleaner alternatives,” noted Eloise Marais, a professor at the school and co-author of the study.
Critics say governments do little to take bold steps in preventing fossil fuel deaths. Steven Pinker, a psychologist at Harvard, told the Hindustan Times that “air pollution shows errors in risk perception…. It kills millions, largely poor and minorities, but gets a tiny [percent] of the attention of hazards that killed dozens, [such as] terrorism, school shootings, police shootings of unarmed suspects.”
TRENDPOST: The WHO reported that some 91 percent of the world’s population live in areas where chemicals contributing to poor air quality exceed guidelines. Yet, these facts and figures are “nonessential” in this era of COVID Hysteria.