Delhi pollution: future generations to suffer from poor air quality

The health effects of air pollution may be 'transgenerational', experts warn

Delhi pollution: future generations to suffer from poor air quality

Delhiites will have to face the harmful effects of poor air quality for generations to come, new studies done by US-based National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) revealed.

The health effects of air pollution, described as the world’s biggest environmental risk by the WHO, may be 'transgenerational', experts warn.

T K Joshi, Director, Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, said: "New research that has shaken all of us says that if a fetus is exposed to air pollution, she has change in her genes, and these changes are such that they don’t remain confined to her only.

"The impact is trans-generational. That means her children and her grand children will be affected. And you cannot undo a change in gene. If we don’t control this then we are creating lot of diseases to which we do not have any cure, like asthma, cancer, stroke," Joshi added.

Recently, WHO ranked Delhi as second-most polluted major city in the world after Riyadh. According to WHO, the air pollution is leaving around eight lakh people dead annually in the South East Asian Region.

The report also stated that more than 90 per cent of the world population breathes dirty air and around 6.5 million people die due to ailments caused by air pollution. India reportedly account for more than 75 per cent of the casualties caused by cardiovascular diseases and lung cancer.

Meanwhile, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) records for October 2015 revealed that the city’s air quality has improved this month when compared to same period in last year.

Usman Nasim, a researcher with the Centre for Science & Environment (CSE), was quoted by The Hindu as saying: “We don’t have exact numbers, but the number of trucks entering Delhi has dropped from 50,000-60,000 per day in October 2015 to currently about 30,000 per day after the Environment Communication Charge (ECC) was imposed in Delhi.”

The report said, this month the air quality has remained “poor” and occasionally “moderate”. The “poor” category leads to breathing discomfort, while “very poor” leads to illness.