A recent report released by World Bank and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) indicated that 60% of the 5. 5 million total premature deaths caused due to air pollution, fourth highest ranked risk factor for the deaths, are from two of the fastest growing economies, China and India (CT, 9th Sep 16). This includes both household air pollution and ambient air pollution. In our country it led to 9.2 lakh and 5.9 lakh deaths, respectively. Even today several rural householders including some city dwellers burn dry coconut shells, its outer husk, coal and wood as an energy source either for cooking or boiling water merely for bathing purpose. Industrial and automobile pollution and presence of high levels of particulate matter are mainly contributing to poor ambient air quality. Burning of dry leaves rubber items like tyres also add pollutants in to the air. The report also indicated that only 1% of the population of these two countries is living in safe air zones, which reveals the gravity of situation. Unless we act now it will aggravate in the coming future making the lives difficult to survive and necessitates taking the breath from purified oxygen cylinders. Contribution from the individuals, organizations as a whole and government is a must to bring the air quality under control.
Dr S V N Vijayendra, Mysuru