Monday December 17, 2018

CSE says Odd-even gains lost

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New Delhi: After the end of Delhi’s odd-even formula, capital is facing an increase in air pollution again, the Centre for Science and Environment said.

The gains of the 15 days long odd-even scheme have been lost, and pollution levels can worsen further unless the authorities act, it said in a statement.

“New analysis by the CSE shows air pollution is back with a vengeance. The first three working days after the completion of the odd-even scheme have seen the rapid worsening of air quality more than 57 percent jump in PM 2.5 levels on the first working day, and has stayed at severe levels,” it said further in the statement.

The Delhi government enforced the odd-even scheme to restrict traffic on the roads, with odd-numbered four wheelers allowed to ply on odd dates and even-numbered vehicles on even dates.

“This validates the importance of emergency action,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of CSE.

“The fortnight when the programme was implemented has clearly demonstrated that the peak pollution levels are lower than the normal smog peaks of the season despite adverse weather conditions.”

Experts say that during winter, pollutants in the air stay close to the ground and get trapped in the air.

Without an emergency action plan, the delayed winter can lead to rapid building up of pollution levels, CSE said.

“The odd-even scheme has proved that the city needs curbs on high traffic volume to pull down peaking of pollution, reduce congestion that further increase emissions.

“The Delhi government should expedite action for more systemic solutions,” it said.

Directives from the Supreme Court to control pollution in the National Capital Region (NCR) like the advancement of Euro VI emission standards, augmentation of public transport, notice on the closure of Badarpur power plant, and action on construction and road dust must be taken, CSE said.(IANS)

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Exposure To Air Pollution Linked To Breast cancer: Study

Government can plan for new designs for industrial and commercial facilities to cut down on the occupational exposures.

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Air pollution, asia
Air pollution shortens life by more than one year in India. Wikimedia Commons

Women working near busy roads are at high risk of developing breast cancer, due to traffic-related air pollution, researchers have warned.

The team, from University of Stirling in Scotland, analysed the case of a woman who developed breast cancer after spending 20 years working as a border guard at the busiest commercial border crossing in North America.

The woman was one of, at least, five other border guards who developed breast cancer within 30 months of each other and, at another nearby crossing, a cluster of seven other cases was noted.

Pollution, pollutants, India, air pollution, WHO, diwali
India’s Rashtrapati Bhawan, or the Presidential Palace is partly visible due to smog as traffic plies on Rajapth, the ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi. VOA

According to Michael Gilbertson, the findings “infer a causal relationship” between breast cancer and very high exposures to traffic-related air pollution containing mammary carcinogens. A link between nightshift work and cancer was also identified.

“This new research indicates the role of traffic-related air pollution in contributing to the increasing incidence of breast cancer in the general population,” Gilbertson said.

The group of women all developed a cancer believed to have been caused by exhaust fumes in what researchers have branded a ‘new occupational disease’.

There is a one in 10,000 chance the cases were a coincidence, the study published in the journal New Solutions said, because the cancers were all so similar and close together.

air pollution, breast cancer
Breast cancer cell, Wikimedia Commons

A review of previous research confirmed that BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes — which try to stop tumours growing — can be “silenced” by exposures to dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – both found in exhaust fumes.

BRCA2 gets rapidly degraded in the presence of aldehydes – also components of exhaust fumes.

Also Read: Chemotherapy May Not Be Needed To Treat Breast Cancer: Study

“There is much more research to be undertaken,” Gilbertson said. “But we now have plausible mechanisms for inferring how the BRCA1/2 tumour suppressors in this highly-exposed border guard became dysfunctional and likely contributed to the ongoing epidemic of sporadic, early onset, premenopausal breast cancer among her colleagues.

“With this new knowledge, industry and government can plan for new designs for industrial and commercial facilities to cut down on the occupational exposures to traffic-related air pollution,” Gilbertson said. (IANS)