Estimating ground level PM2.5 concentrations and associated health risk in India using satellite based AOD and WRF predicted meteorological parameters.
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PM2.5 concentrations in most of the Indian cities are in alarming levels. However, the current network of 308 monitoring stations are heterogeneously placed and do not cover many parts of the country. This limits the ability of agencies to measure the concentration which people are exposed to. In this study, ground level PM2.5 concentrations and the associated risk and mortality in India using satellite based AOD data for the year 2015 was estimated to identify the state specific number of more monitoring sites required. Results indicate that average PM2.5 concentrations were 89g/m3, which caused 1.61 million deaths including 0.34 million Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) deaths, 0.2 million Lung Cancer (LC) deaths, 0.53 million Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) deaths and 0.70 million deaths due to Stroke. The years of life lost (YLL) per 1000 population due to exposure to PM2.5 indicated Delhi (North-India) to be severely affected by PM2.5 resulting in 227.47 years of life lost and was closely followed by Bihar (Eastern-India) (225.18), Rajasthan (Western-India) (225.05) and Uttar Pradesh (Northern-India) (213.16). Eastern India had the highest population weighted concentration (102.09g/m3) and contributed to 23.46% of premature mortality and was followed by Central (75.32g/m3) and Northern India (75.12g/m3), thus indicating severity of air pollution in India and need for its constant monitoring. As per Indian regulatory agency's guidelines, India still needs 1638 more air quality monitoring stations, of which North-Indian states require maximum number of additional stations i.e. 400, followed by 382 in eastern states.