India | Doctors urge Environment Minister to strengthen health action in proposed National Clean Air Program

National Clean Air Program: Need more than just research, say experts
At least 25 public health professionals from leading institutes have written to the Environment Ministry.

Source: Shweta Narayan of Health Energy Initiative – India, as published in The News Minute. The story has been picked up by a wire service and syndicated to news outlets around the country. See one such article in Business Standard.

As the last date for submitting comments on the draft National Clean Air Program (NCAP) by Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) …

Read More »

India | Op-ed: Public health in times of environmental pollution

India | Op-ed: Public health in times of environmental pollution

The draft National Clean Air Programme has lofty goals, but falls short on three key counts

Source: Bhargav Krishna and Dr. K. Srinath Reddy of the Public Health Foundation of India, excerpted from the Hindu Business Line. 

The World Health Organization recently released its updated Ambient Air Pollution database, noting that over 90 per cent of the global population lives in areas with poor air quality. Unsurprisingly, India figures prominently on the list with 14 of the top 15 cities showing the highest levels of annual average PM2.5 (particulates …

Read More »

India | Report finds serious health problems in communities around coal mines and power plants in Central India

India | Report finds serious health problems in communities around coal mines and power plants in Central India

Report finds Serious Health Problems among Residents living around Coal Mines and Thermal Power Plants in Raigarh; Recommends Moratorium on Industrial Activities in the Region

A health study conducted by medical and public health experts of People First Collective India has found serious health problems among the residents living around coal mines and thermal power plants in Tamnar block of Raigarh district, Chhattisgarh. The study titled Health and Environmental Impact of Coal Mining in Chhattisgarh, surveyed more than 500 people in 3 villages of Tamnar Block within 2-kilometer radius of power plants and coal mines.

According to the report “health-related complaints identified amongst …

Read More »

India | Huma Lung Foundation launches radio advisories on air pollution and health

What if, along with the traffic and weather updates on the radio, you could also learn about the current air quality and how it affects your health? A radio station in Chennai, India, is doing just that.

In a first-of-its-kind effort, Huma Lung Foundation (HLF) in collaboration with Fever FM 91.9 are providing “Air Check” – air quality and health updates to the city of Chennai through its popular daily show Lose Control and on HLF’s website. Modeled around the traffic updates on radio, “Air Check” gives information about the Air …

Read More »

India | Toxic metals contaminate villages near coal facilities in Chhattisgarh

India | Toxic metals contaminate villages near coal facilities in Chhattisgarh

The air, water, soil, and sediment in and around several villages in the Raigarh district in Chhattisgarh state are severely contaminated with various toxic heavy metals, according to a new report by Healthy Energy Initiative’s partner in India, Community Environmental Monitoring, along with a local community group.

The environmental sampling and testing was undertaken to investigate complaints of severe pollution and health problems from the coal mines, thermal power plants, and coal ash ponds by the residents of the region.

These findings strengthen the evidence that coal-fired power generation …

Read More »

Global | Report quantifies cost of fossil fuel subsidies on human health

Global | Report quantifies cost of fossil fuel subsidies on human health

“World governments make citizens pay billions to destroy their own health”

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), the Healthy Energy Initiative partner in Europe, has launched the report Hidden Price Tags: How ending fossil fuel subsidies would benefit our health providing the first-ever comparison of fossil fuel subsidies and the costs to health associated with air pollution from fossil fuels.

HEAL found that the health costs associated with fossil fuels are over six times higher than fossil fuel subsidies. The report also spotlights how fossil fuel …

Read More »

India | Health professionals urge implementation of power plant standards to protect public health

A group of public health professionals and medical doctors sent a letter of concern to the Indian Environment Minister — who is a medical doctor himself — in response to recent reports that the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) is in the process of diluting and extending deadlines for critical air emission and water use norms for thermal power plants that were announced in December 2015 and are being phased in during 2017.

The letter emphasized the importance of strict air emission norms to protect public …

Read More »

Global | Health organization leaders launch global campaign on air pollution

Global | Health organization leaders launch global campaign on air pollution

Unmask My City is global initiative by doctors, nurses, public health practitioners, and allied healthcare professionals dedicated to improving air quality and reducing emissions in our cities.

Launching today on World Asthma Day, Unmask My City, a global initiative in 10 cities on five continents, aims to promote practical solutions and create tangible policy changes that drive a clear, downward global trend in urban air pollution by 2030.

This will result in significant reductions in illnesses and deaths as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Through Unmask My …

Read More »

India | Stories from Ennore, where an oil spill only piled on to older, nastier disasters

India | Stories from Ennore, where an oil spill only piled on to older, nastier disasters

Credit: Archanaa Seker and Dharmesh Shah

A doctor alarmed by a stark increase in respiratory diseases.

A grandmother fretting over her grandson’s constant hospital visits.

Fishermen with skin lesions that the local hospital can’t heal.

Teenaged boys with itchy feet from trudging through sludge in order to play cricket.

A fisherman lamenting the loss of a river that was once beautiful, that once cleansed and provided a steady livelihood.

These are some of the stories from the port town of Ennore, on the outskirts of Chennai, told through images and words co-authored …

Read More »

Global & India | “State of Global Air” reveals India’s worsening air pollution in global context

Global & India | “State of Global Air” reveals India’s worsening air pollution in global context

The State of Global Air, a new report and interactive website launched by the Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, provides a comprehensive, yet succinct, source of trusted information on the levels of and trends in global air pollution, its sources, and its impact on public health.

Among other findings, the report shows that over 90% of the world’s population live in areas where fine particle levels exceed global air quality guidelines, and that India has surpassed China in the unenviable position of having …

Read More »