The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has junked the findings of a recent international report that had said that ozone-related deaths are highest in the country. The report titled “State of the Global Air 2017” was published by US-based Health Effects Institute (HEI). The institute had carried out a global survey on air pollution and found that India had the most number of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), which is caused by ozone. According to the report, total ozone-related deaths globally were 2.54 lakh in 2015, of which India had the most deaths of more than one lakh.
However, CPCB has junked the report, saying that ozone exposure cannot be a reason for premature mortality. CPCB also said that the report cannot be relied upon since it was based on observational data. Responding to the findings of the report, Dipankar Saha, head of CPCB’s air lab, said, “Ozone exposure cannot be linked with mortality. If it were true, by now we would have seen a very large number of deaths in the US, which has high ozone concentrations. Our data shows India rarely exceeds the safe standard for the gas.” Experts also agree that stronger evidence may be required before a conclusion can be derived.