Tuesday March 19, 2019

Air Pollution Can Reduce Work Productivity: Study

The researchers, however, remain agnostic about the reasons that explain why productivity goes down when pollution goes up, the study noted

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Air pollution can hamper work productivity. VOA

Besides affecting health, prolonged exposure to air pollution can also reduce employee’s productivity, finds a study.

The study showed that daily fluctuations in pollution did not immediately affect the productivity of workers.

However, a definite drop in output was witnessed when measured for more prolonged exposures of up to 30 days, the researchers said.

 In addition, working in a highly polluted setting for long periods of time could affect your mood or disposition to work.

“Our aim with this research was to broaden the understanding of air pollution in ways that have not been explored. We typically think that firms benefit from lax pollution regulations, by saving on emission control equipment and the like; here we document an adverse effect on the productivity of their work force,” said Alberto Salvo, Associate Professor from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

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A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018. VOA

For the study, published in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, the team gathered information from textile factories in China which involved interviewing managers before obtaining access to data.

They compared how many pieces of fabric each worker produced each day to measures of the concentration of particulate matter that the worker was exposed to over time.

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“We found that an increase in PM2.5, by 10 micrograms per cubic metre sustained over 25 days, reduces daily output by one per cent, harming firms and workers,” said Haoming Liu, Associate Professor of the varsity.

“The effects are subtle but highly significant,” said Liu.

The researchers, however, remain agnostic about the reasons that explain why productivity goes down when pollution goes up, the study noted. (IANS)

Next Story

Experts Around Globe Share Ways To Combat Air Pollution

"India needs to initiate and implement strategies to tackle the deadly air pollution. The need is to adopt an integrated approach with solutions that provide real impact." Pixabay

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The three-day workshop, organised by the North India Office of the US Embassy in collaboration with not-for-profit RTI International, is aimed at sharing the US best practices in combating air pollution to reduce emissions of fine-particulate matter and other pollutants in North India. Pixabay

Indian and American experts will chalk out strategies to combat air pollution caused by crop burning, vehicular emission and construction dust at a workshop that began, here on Thursday.

The three-day workshop, organised by the North India Office of the US Embassy in collaboration with not-for-profit RTI International, is aimed at sharing the US best practices in combating air pollution to reduce emissions of fine-particulate matter and other pollutants in North India.

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“Based on the 2016 Global Burden of Disease estimates, about 1.6 million deaths per year in India have been attributed to air pollution,” the release quoted him as saying. Pixabay

It will focus on strategies to minimise emissions, behavioural changes for accepting new alternatives, adoption of tools for estimation of emissions and air quality impacts, enhancing involvement of the private sector and the public as part of the change and developing an integrated regulatory approach.

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“India needs to initiate and implement strategies to tackle the deadly air pollution. The need is to adopt an integrated approach with solutions that provide real impact.” Pixabay

Prakash Doraiswamy, Principal Air Quality Scientist at RTI International, said several north Indian cities rank among the top 25 cities in the world with fine particle (PM 2.5) concentrations 10-17 times higher than World Health Organisation’s guidelines, as per the World Global Ambient Air Quality Database (2018).

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“Based on the 2016 Global Burden of Disease estimates, about 1.6 million deaths per year in India have been attributed to air pollution,” the release quoted him as saying.

“India needs to initiate and implement strategies to tackle the deadly air pollution. The need is to adopt an integrated approach with solutions that provide real impact,” he said.  (IANS)