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Crop burning’s deadly harvest: Air pollution costing India $30 billion annually in disease burden

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Part of Delhi’s winter asphyxia can be attributed to crop residue burning in Punjab and Haryana, various studies have shown. A new study by researchers from the University of Washington, the Oklahoma State University and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) pegs the cost of crop residue burning at $30 billion annually, by raising the risk of suffering acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) for those who suffer exposure in greater doses vis-a-vis those who are exposed to other sources of outdoor pollution but a much smaller degree of crop residue burning. The study found that the frequency of reported ARI in Haryana was strongly correlated with the number of daily fires (mostly from crop burning) recorded for an area by satellite imagery. Compared to this, southern states, where both crop residue burning and cracker burning record a much lower frequency and intensity, showed........

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