Vibha Galhotra
The Black Cloud Project
The project looks at making a form of black cloud by flying black paper kites with the active participation of people in the project.

There is a Global Air Pollution Crisis Air pollution is one of the key issues the whole world is concerned about. Air pollution, both indoors and outdoors, poses health risks to millions of people every day, contributing to asthma, emphysema, heart disease, and other potentially lethal conditions.  Outdoor air pollution contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010, nearly 40 percent of the global total, according to a new summary of data from a scientific study on leading causes of death worldwide .Figured another way, the researchers said, China’s toll from pollution was the loss of 25 million healthy years of life from the population. 

The data on which the analysis is based was first presented in the ambitious 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, which was published in December in The Lancet, a British medical journal. The study was led by an institute at the University of Washington and several partner universities and institutions, including the World Health Organization. 

What the researchers called “ambient particulate matter pollution” was the fourthleading risk factor for deaths in China in 2010. Air pollution ranked seventh on the worldwide list of risk factors, contributing to 3.2 million deaths in 2010. By comparison with China, India, which also has densely populated cities grappling with similar levels of pollution, had 620,000 premature deaths in 2010 because of outdoor air pollution, the study found. That was deemed to be the sixth most common killer in South Asia. 

Artsist discussing the project with local volunteers

People amassed to be the part of the project

The report’s authors had concluded that 350,000 to 400,000 people die prematurely in China each year because of outdoor air pollution. There have been other estimates of premature deaths because of air pollution. In 2011, the World Health Organization estimated that there were 1.3 million premature deaths in cities worldwide because of outdoor air pollution. Last month, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, based in Paris, warned that “urban air pollution is set to become the top environmental cause of mortality worldwide by 2050, ahead of dirty water and lack of sanitation.” It estimated that up to 3.6 million people could end up dying prematurely from air pollution each year, mostly in China and India.