Anemia due to air pollution: only a quarter of the 40 micrograms per cubic meter of pollution considered normal, the danger is increasing by 7%

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Long-term exposure to pollution is causing anemia in women. A joint team of scientists studied the effects of pollution on anemia for a long time. Long-term exposure to a quarter of the pollution that is considered normal by Indian standards increases the risk of anemia in women by more than 7%. 40 micrograms per cubic meter is the norm in the country, whereas for every 10 micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter (PM2.5), the average anemia increases by 7.23%.

This research has found a place in the latest issue of Nature Sustainability. India has the highest number of anemia victims in the world, i.e. 53%, where pollution is increasing anemia among women with reproductive age. This research on women aged 15 to 49 has been done by scientists from IIT Delhi’s Center for Atmospheric Sciences, St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore, IIT Bombay, Health Effects Institute Boston, Institute of Beijing and University College of Cork Ireland.

Effects on red blood cell formation from pollution, which causes anemia

Scientists believe that due to prolonged exposure to PM 2.5, oxidative stress on the human body increases inflammation (a type of inflammation). Through immune activation, this inflammation affects RBC (red blood cell) and hemoglobin levels. The effects of PM 2.5 lead to clinical conditions that affect the availability of iron in the body by affecting RBC formation. States that have low exposure to PM 2.5 also have a lower incidence of anemia. The condition of 186 districts of the country is more than the national average i.e. 35%. The study has information of 6,99,686 women from 29 states, 6 union territories and 640 districts of the country.

It’s a relief… If India is able to meet the current clean air target, anemia among women could be brought down from 53% to 39.5%. This will help in meeting the national average target of 35%. Recently, a program has been started by the Center to reduce air pollution by 20-30% in 102 cities of the country by 2024.

Data collected… The scientists took data from the National Family Health Survey-4 and the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO). It contained data from the years 2007 to 2016. Daily iron intake, BMI, smoking, second hand smoke, education level, cooking fuel, wealth index, area were studied.

stats… This study has been done focusing only on women. Scientists studied various surveys and reports on the amount of pollution and anemia in Chandigarh and all the districts of the country. Sulfate and black carbon have been seen to be more associated with anemia. The big reason for this is the industry and then other reasons.

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