Wednesday April 25, 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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Youth in polluted cities at increased risk of Alzheimer’s

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Climate Trends works on solutions to air pollution, while Co Media Lab is a community media lab.
Pollution can lead to Alzheimer's in youth. Wikimedia Commons

Children and young adults living in polluted megacities are at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, a debilitating brain disease characterised by memory loss, a new study has warned.

“Alzheimer’s disease hallmarks start in childhood in polluted environments, and we must implement effective preventative measures early,” said one of the researchers Lilian Calderon-Garciduenas from University of Montana in the US.

Air pollution can trigger Alzheimer’s. Flickr

“It is useless to take reactive actions decades later,” Calderon-Garciduenas said. The findings, published in the Journal of Environmental Research, indicate that Alzheimer’s starts in early childhood, and the disease progression relates to age, pollution exposure and status of Apolipoprotein E (APOE 4), a well-known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s. The researchers studied 203 autopsies of Mexico City residents in the US ranging in age from 11 months to 40 years.

Metropolitan Mexico City is home to 24 million people exposed daily to concentrations of fine particulate matter and ozone above US Environmental Protection Agency standards. The researchers tracked two abnormal proteins that indicate development of Alzheimer’s, and they detected the early stages of the disease in babies less than a year old.

Also Read: Your daily cup of coffee can worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms

The scientists found heightened levels of the two abnormal proteins — hyperphosphorylated tau and beta amyloid — in the brains of young urbanites with lifetime exposures to fine-particulate-matter pollution (PM2.5).

They also tracked APOE 4 as well as lifetime cumulative exposure to unhealthy levels of PM2.5 — particles which are at least 30 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair and frequently cause the haze over urban areas. The researchers found hallmarks of the disease among 99.5 percent of the autopsies they examined in Mexico City. In addition, the findings showed that APOE 4 carriers had a higher risk of rapid progression of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s can cause depression too. Pixabay

The researchers believe the detrimental effects are caused by tiny pollution particles that enter the brain through the nose, lungs and gastrointestinal tract, and these particles damage all barriers and travel everywhere in the body through the circulatory system.

The authors noted that ambient air pollution is a key modifiable risk for millions of people across the globe. “Neuroprotection measures ought to start very early, including the prenatal period and childhood,” Calderon-Garciduenas said. “Defining pediatric environmental, nutritional, metabolic and genetic risk-factor interactions are key to preventing Alzheimer’s disease,” she added. IANS

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