From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Not Much
Mains level : Role of indoor pollution in PM2.5
- Household emissions remained one of the major culprits behind PM 2.5 air pollution in India.
Household emission in India
- A recent study has pointed out that the use of firewood, kerosene and coal in the households contributed to about 40% of the PM 2.5 pollution in the Gangetic basin districts.
- The results showed that by eliminating household emissions the average outdoor air pollution levels could be reduced and brought within the national ambient air quality standards.
- The paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science notes that if all households transitioned to clean fuels, about 13% of premature mortality in India could be averted.
- At the national scale, mitigating household emissions is also expected to bring large health benefits.
- In many villages, they still use firewood for room heating and water heating. People prefer cheap wood fuel despite LPG being provided to many households.
Using Satellite data
- Using satellite data and chemical transport model simulations, the researchers pointed out that complete mitigation would bring down the country’s average annual PM 2.5 air pollution to 38 microgram/cubic metre.
- Surprisingly, this is below India’s national ambient air quality standard of 40 microgram/cubic metre and slightly above the World Health Organization (interim target 1) standards of 35 microgram/cubic metre.
Need for a multipronged approach
- But India’s pollution problem is much bigger than often perceived.
- The study has demonstrated that mitigating at a household level is the easiest and more practical way out for the government to reduce not only the household pollution but also outdoor air pollution at the national scale.