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High Time To Worry! Burning Crops Not Just Causes Respiratory Diseases But Also Economic Loss of $ 30 Billion

The study analyzed health data from more than 250,000 individuals of all ages residing in rural and urban areas in India. 

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It used NASA satellite data on fire activity to estimate the health impact of living in areas with intense crop burning by comparing them with areas unaffected by CRB. Pixabay

Not just growing respiratory diseases but crop residue burning (CRB) has led to economic loss of nearly $ 30 billion or Rs 2 lakh crore annually for the three north Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi every year in India, says a new study.

The study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and partner institutes estimate – for the first time – the health and economic costs of CRB in northern India.

“Economic losses owing to exposure to air pollution from firecracker burning are estimated to be around $7 billion or nearly Rs 50 thousand crore a year. In five years, the economic loss due to burning of crop residue and firecrackers is estimated to be $190 billion, or nearly 1.7 per cent of India’s GDP,” said the study.

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They also examined other factors that could contribute to poor respiratory health such as firecracker burning during Diwali (it usually coincides with time of CRB) and motor vehicle density. Pixabay

The study analyzed health data from more than 250,000 individuals of all ages residing in rural and urban areas in India.

It used NASA satellite data on fire activity to estimate the health impact of living in areas with intense crop burning by comparing them with areas unaffected by CRB.

The researchers observed that as crop burning increased in the northern Indian state of Haryana, respiratory health worsened.

The research noted that health was measured by the frequency of reported hospital visits for acute respiratory infection (ARI), symptoms.

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“Smoke from the burning of agricultural crop residue by farmers in Haryana and Punjab particularly contributes to Delhi’s poor air, increasing the risk of ARI three-fold for those living in districts with intense crop burning,” said IFPRI Research Fellow and co-author of the study, Samuel Scott. Pixabay

They also examined other factors that could contribute to poor respiratory health such as firecracker burning during Diwali (it usually coincides with time of CRB) and motor vehicle density.

“Smoke from the burning of agricultural crop residue by farmers in Haryana and Punjab particularly contributes to Delhi’s poor air, increasing the risk of ARI three-fold for those living in districts with intense crop burning,” said IFPRI Research Fellow and co-author of the study, Samuel Scott.

Also Read: Now The Delhi Government Comes Up With The Food Wastage Check Policy At Social Gatherings

The study suggests targeted government initiatives to improve crop disposal practices.

“To quickly clear the field for the next crop, they burn the leftover stubble rather than using the traditional method of clearing it by hand,” it added. (IANS)

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Countries Across Globe Unite For Establishing Legal Laws To Reduce Plastic Polluting Environment

The agreement is likely to lead to customs agents being on the lookout for electronic waste or other types of potentially hazardous waste more than before.

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A man guides a raft through a polluted canal littered with plastic bags and other garbage in Mumbai, India, Oct. 2, 2016. VOA

Nearly every country in the world has agreed upon a legally binding framework to reduce the pollution from plastic waste except for the United States, U.N. environmental officials say.

An agreement on tracking thousands of types of plastic waste emerged Friday at the end of a two-week meeting of U.N.-backed conventions on plastic waste and toxic, hazardous chemicals.

Discarded plastic clutters pristine land, floats in huge masses in oceans and rivers and entangles wildlife, sometimes with deadly results.

Rolph Payet of the United Nations Environment Program said the “historic” agreement linked to the 186-country, U.N.-supported Basel Convention means that countries will have to monitor and track the movements of plastic waste outside their borders.

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Countries will have to figure out their own ways of adhering to the accord, Payet said. Even the few countries that did not sign it, like the United States, could be affected by the accord when they ship plastic waste to countries that are on board with the deal. Pixabay

The deal affects products used in a broad array of industries, such as health care, technology, aerospace, fashion, food and beverages.

“It’s sending a very strong political signal to the rest of the world — to the private sector, to the consumer market — that we need to do something,” Payet said. “Countries have decided to do something which will translate into real action on the ground.”

Countries will have to figure out their own ways of adhering to the accord, Payet said. Even the few countries that did not sign it, like the United States, could be affected by the accord when they ship plastic waste to countries that are on board with the deal.

Payet credited Norway for leading the initiative, which first was presented in September. The time from that proposal to the approval of a deal set a blistering pace by traditional U.N. standards for such an accord.

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“It’s sending a very strong political signal to the rest of the world — to the private sector, to the consumer market — that we need to do something,” Payet said. “Countries have decided to do something which will translate into real action on the ground.” Pixabay

The framework “is historic in the sense that it is legally binding,” Payet said. “They (the countries) have managed to use an existing international instrument to put in place those measures.”

Also Read: House Democrat Issues Subpoenas for U.S. President Donald Trump Tax Returns

The agreement is likely to lead to customs agents being on the lookout for electronic waste or other types of potentially hazardous waste more than before.

“There is going to be a transparent and traceable system for the export and import of plastic waste,” Payet said. (VOA)