Air Quality and Public Health | Centre for Science and Environment

Air Quality and Public Health


Overview-Air quality & Public Health

The rate at which urban air pollution has grown across India is alarming. A vast majority of cities are caught in the toxic web as air quality fails to meet health-based standards. Almost all cities are reeling under severe particulate pollution while newer pollutants like oxides of nitrogen and air toxics have begun to add to the public health challenge. Only a few mega cities where action has started show some improvement in air quality but in most cases the particulate levels are still unacceptably high.

Delhi is reeling under high levels of deadly ozone, says latest CSE analysis

Delhi is reeling under high levels of deadly ozone, says latest CSE analysis
May 29, 2009

CSE suggests a leapfrog roadmap for combating air pollution in Kolkata

CSE suggests a leapfrog roadmap for combating air pollution in Kolkata

The dawn of pollution

A walk in pre-sunrise hours may increase chances of asthma

Health enthusiasts living near freeways should minimize their outdoor exercise timings during the early morning hours; they should also keep their windows closed through the night.

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Overview

The rate at which urban air pollution has grown across India is alarming. A vast majority of cities are caught in the toxic web as air quality fails to meet health-based standards. Almost all cities are reeling under severe particulate pollution while newer pollutants like oxides of nitrogen and air toxics have begun to add to the public health challenge.

The challenge of the chulha

About 24 years ago, I was in a house in a small village some distance from Udaipur town in Rajasthan. A government functionary was explaining how an improved chulha (cookstove) worked— they had installed it in the kitchen. At that time, India was waking up to forests being devastated. It was believed then (wrongly, as it turned out) the key reason was poor people cutting trees to cook food. It was also being understood smoke from chulhas was carcinogenic and that women were worst hit by this pollution.

Air to lung to DNA

Air pollutants damage genes, affect human behaviour

THE air you breathe in may affect your health in more ways than you think. Besides causing respiratory disorders and hypertension, pollution may be damaging genes and changing human behaviour, revealed a study on health of urban population in Delhi and rural population West Bengal and Uttarakhand.

Planning in the air

India has added two more swanky symbols to bolster its first-world ambitions: the Rajiv Gandhi international airport in Hyderabad and the gleaming Bengaluru international airport in our software capital. But look beneath this glitzy façade and you will find another instance of development on the cheap. We refuse to admit that our dream of world-class infrastructure is not grounded on the hard reality that we are a rich and poor country at the same time. As a result, we do not think differently and plan for solutions that suit our needs.

Making space for emissions

What does the ubiquitous auto-rickshaw and the plush aeroplane have in common, other than getting us from one place to another? The auto-rickshaw, as India’s largest manufacturer Rahul Bajaj will tell you, is the symbol of democratic mobility — it provides transport for large numbers of people at what he says is affordable costs. But these vehicles are technology poor, and extremely polluting.

Publication: Slow Murder

Documents the deadly story of air pollution caused by vehicles. Vehicular pollution is no longer just an intangible threat in India - it contributes to a shocking 64 per cent of the total pollution in Delhi, 52 per cent in Mumbai and 30 per cent in Kolkata.

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