What's the article about?
- It talks about making current environmental policies in India, both legislative as well as institutional, health-centric to effectively deal with pollution, especially air pollution.
- GS3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment;
- GS2: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.
What's the crux of the article?
- Worsening air quality is now a harsh daily reality in many Indian cities.
- This has a serious impact on our health, particularly that of vulnerable groups such as women, children, and the elderly.
- This implies that considering the “harmful effects of pollution on human health” must be an integral component of pollution-control strategies.
- Despite the fact that the primacy of protecting public health is clearly stated in the statement of objects and reasons of India's key environmental laws, this important aspect is unfortunately missing from the constitutions of our environmental regulators, expert groups, and decision-making entities.
- Thus Health must be turned into a feature and eventually a function of air pollution policy.
What does it mean to make health a feature of air pollution policy?
- First, consider health and epidemiological evidence when developing pollution policies and setting clean air targets.
- Second, experts from a variety of disciplines and sectors, such as epidemiology, environment, energy, transportation, public policy, and economics, should be included in pollution-related committees.
- For instance, the Ministry of Health's Steering Committee on Air Pollution, which included both of the aforementioned points.
What are the harmful impacts of air pollution on populations?
What is particulate matter, or PM?
What can citizens do to protect themselves? (WHO)
- The frequency and magnitude of air pollution have undoubtedly changed, as demonstrated by increased instances of raising health concerns; therefore, in order to deal with it effectively, we must also transform our policies to make them health-centric.
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