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Emerging challenges of air pollution and particulate matter in China, India, and Pakistan and mitigating solutions

Highlights•Air pollution and particulate matter are emerging challenges in South Asia.•Legislative and policy gaps on air pollution in South Asia were scrutinized.•South Asia has surpassed the permissible limits of air quality.•India, China and Pakistan have severe health issues due to air pollution.•Spatial-temporal monitoring studies in China, India, and Pakistan are needed.AbstractThis study examines point and non-point sources of air pollution and particulate matter and their associated socioeconomic and health impacts in South Asian countries, primarily India, China, and Pakistan. The legislative frameworks, policy gaps, and targeted solutions are also scrutinized. The major cities in these countries have surpassed the permissible limits defined by WHO for sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and nitrogen dioxide. As a result, they are facing widespread health problems, disabilities, and causalities at extreme events. Populations in these countries are comparatively more prone to air pollution effects because they spend more time in the open air, increasing their likelihood of exposure to air pollutants. The elevated level of air pollutants and their long-term exposure increases the susceptibility to several chronic/acute diseases, i.e., obstructive pulmonary diseases, acute respiratory distress, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. More in-depth spatial-temporal air pollution monitoring studies in China, India, and Pakistan are recommended. The study findings suggest that policymakers at the local, national, and regional levels should devise targeted policies by considering all the relevant parameters, including the country's economic status, local meteorological conditions, industrial interests, public lifestyle, and national literacy rate. This approach will also help design and implement more efficient policies which are less likely to fail when brought into practice.Graphical AbstractDownload : Download high-res image (348KB)Download : Download full-size image


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