The air we breathe, the water we drink, the security of creatures we drink, the security of creatures we share with, and fertility of land on which we grow our food are all deteriorating resulting in the increase of health hazards and lowering standard of health of the nation as a whole, In this seemingly desperate situation how to let our optimum survive is a burning question of the day.
A study conducted by the World Bank in 1995 revealed that 40,000 Indians die prematurely due to polluted air in cities. Yet another study made by the Environment protection Agency shows that every nearly 40,000 children in India are affected by respiratory diseases caused by the growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Air pollutants are continually poisoning our bones and the most susceptible to pollution are children below five years and elderly persons above 50 years. In general, those who have hyper-responsiveness to the presence of pollutants are bit harder than others. Air pollutants increase the risk of lung disease in asthma patients. Women with previous lead exposures may have elevated blood level during period of high bone turnover as observed during pregnancy, location or hyperthyroidism. Their unborn fetuses may be exposed to this danger as also the new born though breast milk. Children have relatively narrower air passages which are more easily obstructed. They need more oxygen whereas they inhale larger volumes of polluted air. Children are three times more at risk & exposure to pollutants floating in the sky than adults. In Delhi every tenth school going kid is suffering from asthma caused by air pollution. Traffic police men, automobile mechanics, drivers, cyclists, rikshaw-walas, road side vendors and hawkers all inhale more pollutants than others due to the nature of their work.
Vehicular discharged is the most important of pollutants which is wrecking the health of urban populace. Human body can tolerate up to 0.25 milligram of lead in blood. But a resident of cities like Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai through vehicles.
Air pollution is not visible to the naked eye nor can it be handled or removed by individual efforts. Polluted water can be purified before drinking, polluted food can be done away with, noise pollution can also be controlled by individual efforts but air pollution can be controlled only by the ruling authority. In Singapore owning and running a car has been made so expensive that fewer people dare possess a car. There are many zones in European countries where vehicles are prohibited from plying; High registration fees and restriction on the movement of vehicles can go a long way in saving us from toxns. Keeping half the existing vehicles off the road for two days in a week, improving the quality of fuel and traffic management may also be helpful.
These are all prohibitive measures, which can be enforced only by the Government. Certain protective measures should also be adopted for effective control of this menace. Tree plantation can go a long way to balance the ratio of carbon dioxide in atmosphere. During photosynthesis plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Hence plantation of trees wherever possible and ban on cutting of green trees will help in maintaining proper balance in atmosphere. Agricultural land must also be kept under one crop or the other. This will not only protect from air pollution but will also put a check to soil erosion which is an important factor responsible for the loss of fertility of soil.
Water pollution can be checked by keeping our rivers, canals and lakes clean. Industrial wasted must also be disposed off in such a way that it does not contribute to pollution of air and water. At no cost it should be allowed to find its way to the rivers. Use of insecticides in agricultural crops, fruit trees, garden and vegetable crops as also in houses should be judiciously planned.
Noise pollution can be easily and effectively controlled by our individual and social efforts. Proper tuning of musical sets, radios, loudspeakers, T.V. sets and vehicle horns etc. should be practiced.
These should be sustained efforts to find alternatives like solar powered vehicles and appliances to reduce our dependence upon oil engines to run vehicles and generator sets. Only when the problem is tackled on war footing can we control this problem of pollution.