A study, titled ‘The Association Between Ambient PM 2.5 Exposure and Anaemia Outcomes Among Children Under Five Years of Age in India’, published in the journal Environmental Epidemiology, conducted by IIT-Delhi has found that extended periods of exposure to PM 2.5 can lead to anaemia among children under the age of 5 years.
- The study has found that for every 10 micrograms per meter cube increase in PM2.5 levels exposure, there is a decrease of 0.07 grams per dL in average haemoglobin levels.
- This is the first study to have been carried out in India, where an association between exposure to PM 2.5 and anaemia in children under the age of 5 years has been examined and established, even as numerous other studies have looked at other detrimental health impacts of particulate matter.
- The study is important because so far anaemia has been looked at through the prism of nutrition deficiency, specifically that of iron.
- If government programmes like Poshan Abhiyan were strengthened, till air pollution is curtailed or exposure of children to PM 2.5 is brought down, anaemia is likely to continue to persist.