Air pollution to affect mental health and can cause cancer in India: CSE

Air pollution to affect mental health and can cause cancer in India: CSE

On Monday, a report “Body Burden” by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) stated that air pollution in Indian is responsible for 30% of premature deaths. The study highlighted major links between health and environment. It has also stated that mental health, heart diseases, obesity are the major killers in the country. In India, almost every third child in Delhi has impaired lungs. The report also pointed out that every 12th Indian is a diabetic patient. The report “Body Burden” released by CSE stated, “Over 61 percent of total deaths in India were attributed to lifestyle or non-communicable diseases (NCDs). More than 1.73 million new cancer cases likely to be recorded each year by 2020, air pollution, tobacco, alcohol and diet change are primary triggers.”

The report also added, “Air pollution causes 30 percent of all premature deaths in the country; linkages with mental diseases revealed in the study. India ranks second in the list of countries with highest diabetes patients.”

According to the IANS reports, the report also stated that India will not be able to curb NCDs unless environmental risk factors are acknowledged and dealt with properly. There are four major risk factors for NCDs that is alcohol, poor diet, lack of physical activity and tobacco according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It could be easily reduced by investing just USD 1-3 per year per person, claimed WHO. The report mainly highlighted the linkage of pollution to men health and also stated that India requires more investment according to WHO estimation.

Director General of CSE and member Supreme Court-appointed Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA), Sunita Narain said, “We believe the cost is going to be much higher considering that risk factors in India are many more than the four identified by the global body.”

Similarly, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) is caused by air pollution, but how this can adversely affect mental health is lesser known.

“Targeting environmental risk factors is essential if we want to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 3.4, which mandates a one-third reduction in premature deaths due to lifestyle diseases by 2030,” says Vibha Varshney, the lead writer of the report.

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