The World Health Organization (WHO) is revising its air quality standards.

WHO Air Quality guidelines

The World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its worldwide air quality guidelines and suggested that significant pollutants be subjected to more strict criteria.
Key points
The new requirements were established by WHO in the first update of its air quality guidelines in 2005.
The 24-hour average PM 2.5 norm was reduced to 15 micro-g/m3 from 25 micro-g/m3 in 2005.
The annual average PM 2.5 criteria had been reduced to 5 micro-g/m3 from 10 micro-g/m3 in 2005.
What is India’s position?
Most Indian cities fail to satisfy these norms, even by today’s lenient standards. India’s yearly PM 2.5 average is 40 micrograms per cubic meter, compared to the WHO’s annual standard of 10 micrograms per cubic meter (2005). As a result, India’s air quality rules must be revised to be more strict.
India’s Initiatives
India has vowed to reduce air pollution in cities by 20-30% under the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Bio-decomposer will be deployed on 6 lakh acres of land in Uttar Pradesh, 1 lakh acres in Haryana, and 7,413 acres in Punjab to prevent stubble burning. Bio-decomposers are being used as part of an effort to prevent and manage stubble burning in the Delhi-NCR region.
NCAP (National Comprehensive Assessment Program)
The MoEFCC launched NCAP in January 2019. It is the first time in India that a national framework for air quality management has been created with a time-bound reduction target. In the next five years, this action plan aims to lower the concentration of coarse and fine particles by at least 20%. (the base year 2017). There are 102 non-attainment cities in this plan, which are spread throughout 23 states and territories. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) chose these cities after analyzing ambient air quality data between 2011 and 2015.
According to the organization, air pollution has a more significant impact on low-income communities and countries.
“Globally, disparities in air pollution exposure are expanding, particularly as low- and middle-income countries experience rising levels of air pollution as a result of large-scale urbanisation and economic development that has largely relied on the burning of fossil fuels,” according to the WHO.

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