14 of world’s 15 most polluted cities in India : is crime and pollution related?


The WHO report said 14 of world’s 15 most polluted cities were in India which includes Delhi, Kanpur and Varanasi.  This will need  soul searching  and introspection by every one including policy makers.

Air pollution is related to lung diseases like asthma, emphysema or COPD.  It can have effects on pregnant women, Heart patients and outdoor workers etc.  but another aspect of relationship  of pollution with crime is also coming up, which concerns the psychological aspect.

There is a study  in London which relates pollution and crime rate. Although it appears strange but it gives some thing to ponder. If proved correct it may be dangerous environment to the people living in polluted cities.

A new report by researchers at the London School of Economics (LSE) suggests that crime in the capital is being driven by air pollution.

Their results show more polluted areas will see spikes in crime, particularly for less serious offences.

While the study relies on observational data and therefore cannot make definitive conclusions, it adds to a small but growing body of evidence linking pollution and crime.

Previous experiments have shown that increased levels of particulate matter in the air lead to increased blood levels of stress hormones such as cortisol.

The authors therefore suggest that behavioural changes resulting from increased stress hormone levels may in turn lead to an increased likelihood a person will commit a crime.

This means is that pollution can have a negative effect on people’s ways of thinking, including decision making and the way they think about future punishment.

Higher levels of pollution mean higher levels of cortisol. Higher levels of cortisol affect the way that punishment is being perceived by criminals.

Though the paper has yet to be peer reviewed and published in an academic journal, it has undergone internal peer review at LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

The research is not the first to explore links between air pollution levels and crime.

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