India | Health experts raise concern about proposed air pollution index

In April 2016, India’s Central Pollution Control Board had come out with new guidelines on Cumulative Environment Pollution Index (CEPI) calculations, which for the first time incorporated several health criteria.

However, in a letter to the central board last week, public health experts and environmental activists expressed concern about the health sub-index, noting several issues and gaps such as “the absence of specified health documentation processes in polluted regions and the methods suggested to measure these.”

In one article, Shweta Narayan, coordinator of the SIPCOT Community Environmental Monitors which is the Healthy Energy Initiative’s partner in India, said that depending solely on data collected at hospitals, which was the mandated source of pollution-related health data in the revised guidelines, could be misleading.

“In clusters like Ennore in Chennai, most hospitals are run by the industries themselves. We cannot expect this to be honest and accurate,” she said in the article.

Another recent article featured the increasing concern about the health sub-index among public health professionals in the country, as discussed in the said letter.

CC BY-NC 2.0 Robert S. Donovan via Flickr

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