Indoor & Outdoor Air Pollution, Standards & Impacts on Human Health: Case Studies

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A three-day residential training programme on the ‘Air Pollution and Human Health: Case Studies’ commenced on Wednesday 5th December 2018. Dr. Ravindra Khaiwal, Additional Professor of Environment Health, School of Public Health, Department of Community Medicine, PGIMER and Dr. Suman Mor, Assistant Professor, Department of Environment Studies, Panjab University are coordinating the programme. Over 40 participants from various pollution control board, including public health practitioners, medical professionals, environmentalists and researchers representing over 15 states are attending the training programme.

Sh. T.C. Nautiyal, IFS, Chief Guest of the event and Member Sectary of Chandigarh Pollution Control (CPCC) highlighted that there is need to generate the local evidence of air pollution as health effects depends on the type of pollutants. He stressed that it is important to build a collaboration of pollution control boards, health institutions and university to better understand the health risk of air pollution. Prof SK Mehta, highlighted that existing infrastructure of tri-city institutions and universities should be explored to support human health risk studies.

Dr. Ravindra Khaiwal, Organizing Secretary and Associate Professor of Environment Health highlighted that workshop aims to build capacity of the staff of Pollution Control Boards, researchers and scientists to conduct air pollution exposure and health risk assessment studies in their respective states as an aid to policy measure. He stressed that existing infrastructure of medical institutes, engineering institutes and universities should be explored to build a network of air pollution exposure and health risk studies.

Dr. Suman Mor, mentioned that there is need to build capacity of regional institutions to support National Clean Air Action Plan. She further stated that to build the capacity existing infrastructure of tri-city institutions and universities under CRIKC can be explored to formulate regional center of excellence on air pollution and health.

Prof. Surinder Jindal, ex-Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, highlighted that air causes asthma and chronic bronchitis leading to an enormous health care burden in India and which can be prevented by controlling the associated risk factors. Prof Arun Aggarwal, key speaker of the day highlighted that various health effects of air pollutants starting from respiratory discomfort to severe heart diseases. He also stressed that adverse impact of air pollution can be minimized through traditional yoga, pranayama and daily exercise. The first day of the programme also included the invited lecture of Prof. Harshal Salve from AIIMS-Delhi, Prof Vinayak Sinha from IISER- Mohali.

This environmental training programme will raise the knowledge about the air pollutants, exposure pathways and health effects to better plan the air pollution control strategies and their implementation to reduce the burden of air pollution related deaths and diseases. The progamme is being jointly organized by School of Public Health, Department of Community Medicine, PGIMER in collaboration with Department of Environment Studies, Panjab University (PU) and is sponsored by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)-Delhi.