Pune Needs To Have An Air Quality Health Advisory – Citizens And CSOs Demand In The Wake Of Increasing Air Pollution

Share this News:

Pune, 6th September 2022: Parisar, along with other NGOs submitted a petition on 5th September 2022, demanding that the PMC issue a health advisory for air pollution. 7th September is the International Day of
Clean Air for Blue Skies, and the theme for the year is #TheAirWeShare. The demand for timely health advisories fits in with this theme, recognising that we are all being affected by polluted air and need to take measures to both reduce it and also protect ourselves from the existing pollution.

The petition asks the Municipal Commissioner of Pune to make sure citizens know when the  air in Pune exceeds safe levels and prescribes actions to minimise its health impacts, especially on vulnerable groups like children and senior citizens. The petition has been signed by 600 citizens and four civil society organisations.

Dr Sundeep Salvi, Director of Pulmocare Research and Education (PURE) Foundation felt that everyone should be aware of the quality of the air they are breathing. He spoke of the various diseases like lung cancer, heart disease, Alzeimer’s etc that are caused by air pollution. Owing to the severe impacts it has on different organs like the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, and eyes he said,” The air that we breathe generates 90% of my body’s energy. It is
therefore imperative for me to breathe clean air, just like how anyone will not eat dirty food or drink dirty water.”

“The way out of the huge public health challenge caused by air pollution is primarily through mitigation of polluting sources. Additionally, the health alerts also become a useful piece of information to ensure individual level protection. Some people like young children, pregnant women, people with lung diseases are more sensitive to the ill effects of air pollution. Some people, like those working at construction sites, drivers, police, etc have much larger
exposures. Such vulnerable subpopulations need appropriate guidance for appropriate response,” said Dr. Ritu Parchure, Senior Researcher at Prayas (Health Group). She added, “Also, being vulnerable in the first place, there is a need for systems to protect them. Pune needs a well thought out health advisory plan to protect its citizens from health impacts of air pollution”.

Fitness coach Mayank Deo said, “Having a health advisory when the air quality deteriorates will help citizens greatly. There are many vulnerable people who exercise outdoors and often get asthmatic attacks and other disorders if the air quality turns bad. If they are aware of it, they can avoid exercising or exposing themselves in those hours. Young children can also be appropriately protected from exposure”.

Parisar’s engagement with different stakeholders, including medical practitioners over the past few years has revealed that such information needs to be disseminated through multiple channels like newspapers, radio, social media platforms and other channels like whatsapp and SMSs. It needs to be simple and clear to understand and in vernacular language too along with English.

Ahead of the winter months, when air quality is the worst, this timely demand could help citizens become more aware about air pollution and protect themselves better.

Also Read Pune Police Raids Plunge Lounge In Koregaon Park

Join Punekar News Whatsapp GroupTelegramInstagram And Twitter  For Regular Update about Pune City And Pimpri-Chinchwad