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Last Updated: Thu, 14.02.13 10:15

Air pollution-related diseases 'biggest killer' in South Asia

Ram Humagai in New Delhi

The problem of outdoor and indoor air pollution is increasing in the South Asian countries including Nepal and it is ranked among the top global health risk burdens, findings of newly released Global Burden of Disease (GDB) report says.

Officially releasing the report on Thursday, scientists behind the study at a dialogue workshop organized by Centre for Science and Environment, Indian Council of Medical Research and US-based Health Effects Institute in New Delhi said, air pollution related diseases are ranked among the top 10 killer in the world and the sixth most dangerous killer in South Asia.

Speaking in the South Asian workshop scientists said increasing number of vehicles in urban area and the use of fire woods and other source of energy in rural area are main causes of outdoor and indoor air pollution which can leads toward respiratory and heart related diseases.

Scientists pointed out the alarming rise in air pollution related diseases which resulted in 3.2 million deaths worldwide every year.

Scientists also expressed concern over the lack of proper monitoring infrastructures in the south Asian cites, adding that it is also the major challenge to get regular information about air pollution.

Highlighting the findings of the report, Vice President of Health Effect Institute Boston, US Robert O'keefe said outdoor pollution contributes to 1.2 million deaths in East Asia where economic growth and motorization are taking over, and 712,000 deaths in South Asia which is at the take-off stage.

Speaking in the programme, Director General of Center for Science and Environment (CSE) said air pollution can harm both urban and rural people as well as the rich and poor, and urged for unity to fight with this problem.

About 100 scientists, journalists and other activists participated in the workshop. nepalnews.com