The Cost of Air Pollution: It’s Higher than you Think

The Cost of Air Pollution: It’s Higher than you Think

Air What is Air Pollution?

Air pollution can be defined as the release of air pollutants into the air. These pollutants are extremely harmful to human health. Rising population, unchecked industrialization, depleting natural resources and dependency on fossil fuel energy are some of the reasons for the soaring level of air pollution. As per WHO, 9 out of 10 people in the world currently breathe polluted air with citizens of low- and middle-income countries suffering the most. Regulations over the world (Domestic and international) have been slow to catch up. As per WHO almost air pollution accounts for seven million deaths around the globe.

The Cost of Air Pollution: It’s Higher than you Think

Unknown to the general population, air pollution costs much more than we might have imagined. Besides, the economic cost, there are other price sto be paid for soaring air pollution like endangering the future of our children.

The Cost of Air Pollution in India and the World-

In the year 2020, air pollution was responsible for 160,000 lives in the world’s five largest cities. Air pollution can directly lead to reduced productivity. The economic cost because of air pollution has been pegged at a whopping USD 85.1 billion for just these 5 cities. The Impact of air pollution have been felt deeply in the 5 cities and the no. are listed below:

  • Delhi, India- 54,000 death, loss of USD 8.1 Billion
  • Tokyo, Japan – 40,000 death, loss of USD 43 Billion
  • Shanghai, China – 39,000 deaths, loss of USD 19 Billion
  • Mexico City, Mexico – 15,000 deaths, loss of USD 8 Billion
  • Sao Paulo, China – 15,000 deaths, loss of USD 7 Billion

India is estimated to bear a loss of USD 150 Billion in the year 2020 (i.e., 5% of GDP annually) from fossil fuel air pollution worldwide. China bears the highest cost in the world with a figure of USD 900 billion closely followed by the US with USD 600 billion. The ironic fact for a country like India is that while it spends around 1.28% of its GDP on health, all the good work is diluted with air pollution causing a loss of 5.4% of the GDP.

The Cost of Air Pollution: It’s Higher than you Think
  • Globally, the economic costs because of air pollution have been estimated at USD 2.9 trillion 3.3% of the world’s GDP far exceeding the cost of a reduction in fossil fuel use.

Absenteeism and Work-Life Balance-

Exposure to air pollution from fossil fuel and other sources causes 49 crore days of work absence due to illness and treatment. Indoor air pollution is directly affected by the level of outdoor air pollution. There is a positive correlation between absenteeism in schools& offices and air pollution. Air Pollution specifically PM 2.5,10 is responsible for a medical condition or worsening the existing ones causing a rise in the request for sick leaves.

More recent research has shown that PM levels can affect almost every cell of the body. Productivity of employees has a direct relation with the Indoor air quality. On average workers and employeesare 5-6% more productive when air pollution levels are rated as good (AQI- 0-150) compared to unhealthy (AQI-150-200). 

In extreme cases, air pollution and resulting poor AQI can make the task of employee retention much harder. A company with poor AQI might find employee attrition levels rising over time.

Solution-

Over the last decades, the awareness levels have been rising about air pollution and its hazards. There has been a sustained effort by international organizations and governments to switch to greener forms of energy and technology. The electric vehicle is already gaining popularity in developed and emerging economies. The efforts need to be sustained and require a motivated push to yield the desired results.

Apart from ambient air pollution, Indoor air pollution has become a major health concern. Often ignored it is also responsible for many precious lives especially in low and middle-income countries. One of the effective ways of countering the threat of indoor air pollution is through the use of air purifiers. It is high time to understand the enemy, treat it from source and stop cross infection.

There are two types Air Purification Technologies:

1. Active Air Purification

  • Releases friendly oxidizers in an enclosed space
  • Neutralizes the microbial at the source without recirculation of air
  • Continuously and safely purify the entire conditioned air and surface space
  • Active air purification technology kills the viruses at the source
  • REME, PHI-Cell and Plug & Play work on an active air purification technique
  • Neutralizes microbial, bacteria, mould, fungus, VOCs and viruses (including coronavirus).
  • Low Maintenance

2. Passive Air Purification-

  • Uses a combination of mechanical filters for trapping pollutants
  • Microbial remains in the air until captured through the filters
  • Passive air purification is recommended to treat pollutants like PM, dust, pollen dander, odour, VoCs etc.
  • Passive air purifiers consist of mechanical filters like pre-filter, HEPA filter, carbon filter, cold catalyst & anti-bacterial filter etc.
  • Hulk, Elixir and Mini Air Purifiers work on an passive air purification technique
  • Seasonal maintenance & filter replacement
The Cost of Air Pollution: It’s Higher than you Think

O2Cure Plug & Play air purifier is a product one of its kind in the market. Active air Purification is the future of air purification technology. It is equipped with a PHI-Cell technology (patented by RGF environmental group) with a quad-metallic hydrophilic coating and broad-spectrum UV light that releases atmospheric hydrogen peroxide in enclosed spaces through a chain of reaction The atmospheric hydrogen peroxide gets dispersed inside and render the microbial including the coronavirus harmless by altering its DNA/RNA structure.It also removes other pollutants like VOCs, harmful gases, mold, fungus, odor and cross-infection and tested to neutralize the Coronavirus in the air itself.

Sources:

  1. https://www.who.int/health-topics/air-pollution#tab=tab_1
  2. https://www.iqair.com/blog/air-quality/the-cost-of-air-pollution-in-2020
  3. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/the-cost-of-deadly-air-pollution-in-india-rs-3-39-lakh-per-second/the-burning-economy/slideshow/74112776.cms

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