Study on ambient air quality, respiratory symptoms and lung function of children in Delhi

Under the provision of Air Act, 1981, Central Pollution Control Board has been entrusted with the responsibility of preparation of nation-wide plan for control of air pollution. Information on nature, magnitude and adverse health effects of air pollution is required for rational planning of pollution control strategies. It has been observed that over the years, there has been exponential increase in number of vehicles due to rapid urbanization and economic growth. As a result, levels of air pollutants such as respirable suspended particulate matter. are found to exceed the prescribed standards in many cities. Respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) level is closely associated with mortality and morbidity. Although air pollution affects the population in general, children are particularly vulnerable to toxic effects of air pollution for several reasons. The most important of these are more outdoor exposures and greater intake of air in relation to body weight. Also children are more susceptible due to their underdeveloped immunity. In order to determine health effects of air pollution on children, CPCB initiated a Epidemiological study on children in Delhi with the help of Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, Kolkata. The objective of this study are: assessment of the respiratory health status of school children chronically exposed to ambient air pollution of Delhi; and assessment of degree of lung function impairment among children of Delhi.

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