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Recently, the 2021 World Air Quality Report was released, the report presented an overview of the state of global air quality in 2021.


  • IQAir, a Swiss group that measures air quality levels based on the concentration of Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5.
  • Air pollution is now considered to be the world's largest environmental health threat, accounting for seven million deaths around the world every year.
  • Air pollution causes and aggravates many diseases, ranging from asthma to cancer, lung illnesses and heart disease.
  • The estimated daily economic cost of air pollution has been figured at USD 8 billion, or 3 to 4% of the Gross World Product (GWP).
  • GWP is the combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of all the countries in the world equals the total global GDP.
  • Air pollution affects those that are most vulnerable the most. It is estimated that in 2021, the deaths of 40,000 children under the age of five were directly linked to PM2.5 air pollution.

PM 2.5

  • The report is based on PM2.5 air quality data from 6,475 cities in 117 countries, regions and territories around the world.
  • PM2.5, particulate matter consisting of fine aerosol particles measuring 2.5 microns or smaller in diameter, is one of six routinely measured criteria air pollutants and is commonly accepted as the most harmful to human health due to its prevalence in the environment and broad range of health effects.
  • Common chemical constituents of PM2.5 include sulphates, nitrates, black carbon, and ammonium.
  • The most common natural sources for PM2.5 are dust storms, sandstorms, and wildfires.

India Scenario

  • India was home to 11 of the 15 most polluted cities in Central and South Asia in 2021.
  • In 2021, Mumbai had recorded Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 annual average of 46.4 microgram/cubic metre – nearly nine times above the World Health Organisation (WHO) limit.

Measures taken to control Pollution

  • System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) Portal
  • Air Quality Index: AQI has been developed for eight pollutants viz. PM2.5, PM10, Ammonia, Lead, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, ozone, and carbon monoxide.
  • Graded Response Action Plan
  • For Reducing Vehicular Pollution
  • BS-VI Vehicles,
  • Push for Electric Vehicles (EVs)
  • Odd-Even Policy as an emergency measure
  • New Commission for Air Quality Management
  • Subsidy to farmers for buying Turbo Happy Seeder (THS) Machine.