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Black carbon linked to premature mortality

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    14th Jul, 2021

According to a study that tracked mortality rates, Black Carbon was most associated with premature mortality.

Context

According to a study that tracked mortality rates, Black Carbon was most associated with premature mortality.

  • The study was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

About

About the Key findings of the study

  • It has serious health impacts in terms of mortality due to BC aerosol exposure that have never been evaluated in India.
  • The Indo-Gangetic plain has a high burden of black carbon with serious implications for regional climate and human health.
  • Several cities in this belt routinely find themselves at the top of the list of the most polluted cities in India as well as the world.
  • A 10-point increase in air pollution from black carbon led to an average 5% increase in mortality whereas a similar rise in PM 2.5 led to an average 1% increase in mortality.
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) were both associated with a 2.3% and 1.3% increase in mortality.
  • The detrimental effect of pollutants was higher for males, age group 5-44 years and, in winter.
  • The adverse effect of air pollutants was not limited to the current day of exposure but could extend to as late as five days after exposure.

What is Black Carbon?

  • Black carbon(BC) is a component of fine particulate matter (PM ≤ 2.5 µm).
  • Black carbon consists of pure carbon in several linked forms. It is formed through the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass.
  • It is one of the main types of particle in both anthropogenic and naturally occurring soot.
  • Black carbon results from the incomplete burning of fossil fuel.
  • It’s a relatively short-lived pollutant in the atmosphere but influences cloud formation and atmospheric heat absorption processes.
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