September 3

Environ health profile for nine cities

[SEPTEMBER 03, 2002]

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM SEPT. 2. The documentation of the state of environmental health in nine cities, including Thiruvananthapuram, is to be launched as part of the `National Environmental Health profile and Comparative Health Risk Assessment' initiative of the WHO and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The annual review meeting of the project, which was hosted here by the Regional Cancer Centre and the State Pollution Board, decided that the documentation would be a prelude to development of a national environmental database, preparation of epidemiological registries laws and regulations for the control and management of health of the people.

The other cities identified for the project are New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Lucknow.

The RCC Director, M. Krishnan Nair, who initiated the discussions, pointed to the hazardous impact of pollution on cancer epidemiology. He emphasised the need for an in-depth understanding of the influence of background radiation in the Chavara-Manavalakurichi coastal belt.

A unified national programme of pollution monitoring and assessment of its impact on human health through epidemiological information has been launched. Pollution levels would include major hazardous pollutants present in air, water and soil, and include particulate matter, pesticides, benzene, arsenic, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and microbial contaminants.