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Venice Presents Plan to Tackle Effects of Climate Change

The ones who hurt it those who spend only one day," Luigi Brugnaro, Venice's Mayor told Efe in an interview

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Venice, Plan, Climate
Anyone has to visit Venice with respect. You have to go for a few days, to be impregnated with it. Pixabay

In a bid to save its heritage, the Italian city of Venice has presented a plan to tackle the effects of climate change, calling for responsible tourism at this years C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen.

For years, Venice has been facing its toughest challenge ever: the risk of flooding due to rising sea levels, Efe news reported on Saturday.

However, authorities warn that mass tourism and its environmental impact have also become a challenge for the city, a cradle of history dating back more 1,500 years.

“Anyone has to visit Venice with respect. You have to go for a few days, to be impregnated with it. The ones who hurt it those who spend only one day,” Luigi Brugnaro, Venice’s Mayor told Efe in an interview.

Venice, Plan, Climate
For years, Venice has been facing its toughest challenge ever: the risk of flooding due to rising sea levels, Efe news reported on Saturday. Pixabay

The conservative politician took part in the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, where he unveiled his plan to protect the Italian city from the effects of global warming.

His medium and long-term roadmap includes policies affecting not only the huge cruise ships that enter Venice daily but also the 25 million people that visit the city every year.

“No one should have negative thoughts about tourists. They are curious people who want to see a place like Venice and it is fair that they can do it. We only have to establish simple rules,” Brugnaro said.

From January 2020, visitors who spend less than 24 hours in Venice will have to pay a tourist tax of 10 euros to offset cleaning and maintenance costs.

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Brugnaro also plans to regulate tourist rentals through platforms such as Airbnb.

In Venice, door-to-door garbage collecting has increased recycling. However, many visitors were not aware of the existence of this service.

Venice and its lagoon were declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987, but two years ago the UN organization warned the Italian city that it should take steps before 2021 to avoid being included in his “blacklist”.

The next meeting of the UN committee to monitor the progress will be held in China in 2020.

Venice, Plan, Climate
However, authorities warn that mass tourism and its environmental impact have also become a challenge for the city, a cradle of history dating back more 1,500 years. Pixabay

Venice goes on alert when a high tide reaches 80 cm. If sea-levels were to rise by 110 cm, more than 10 per cent of the pedestrian area of the historic centre would be flooded.

If the worst predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are fulfilled, according to which the sea level could rise 110 cm in 2100, the situation could become critical.

“It is not inevitable that it will end up being destroyed. Venice is much more alive than some say. It is a resilient city that adapts,” the Mayor told Efe news.

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The city is “a symbol for the world, one of its greatest symbols. We must set aside our selfishness and interests. If Venice is saved, the world is saved”, he added. (IANS)

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All You Need to Know About Lung Cancer and Air Pollution

Find out more about the association of pollution with lung cancer

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air-pollution
Find out more about the association of pollution with lung cancer. Pixabay

IANSlife spoke to Dr Vikas Maurya, Director & Head, Department of Pulmonology & Sleep Disorders, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi to find out more about the association of pollution with lung cancer

Lung cancer

We know that today lung cancer is the most common cancer and is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Around 1.6 million people die every year. Tobacco smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. But it can also occur in people who have never smoked as well. As per literature, 15% of patients diagnosed with lung cancer have no history of tobacco use. And 20% of women who developed lung cancer have never smoked. In recent years a large number of patients are being diagnosed all over the world, including India, in whom there is no such history of tobacco smoking. The common causes of lung cancer in non smokers are: air pollution both outdoor and indoor, exposure to secondhand smoke, i.e passive smoking, Asbestos exposure, Radon gas exposure, diesel exhaust fumes and genetic predisposition.

air-pollution
The risk of lung cancer is sometimes said to be similar to what is seen with passive smoking. The risk increases with increase in the level of air pollution. Pixabay

Air pollution and Lung cancer

The risk of lung cancer is sometimes said to be similar to what is seen with passive smoking. The risk increases with increase in the level of air pollution. Presently, as per WHO, air pollution have increased significantly in some parts of the world, mostly in low and middle income countries with large populations like India. There are two main types of outdoor air pollution: ozone and particle pollution. Both are harmful to our health, and particle pollution, in particular, is found to be associated with lung cancer.

Particle pollution is a mix of solid and liquid particles, which are comprised of different chemicals and biological components. They come from power plants, burning wood, diesel and fossil fuels. The particles that are most dangerous are the ones that are 2.5 microns or smaller (less than 1/7 the diameter of a human hair) also known as PM2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5). PM2.5 is the best understood air pollutants, the risk of developing lung cancer increases as the level of PM2.5 increases. These particles are deposited in the lungs and are not destroyed by the body defense mechanisms and with less understood mechanism leads to changes in the cells and tissue and over a long period of time can cause cancer.

In the UK, it has been found that an estimated 7.8% of lung cancers each year are thought to be caused by PM2.5 air pollution exposure.

Indoor air pollution, the most common causes are cooking and heating the home with solid fuels (wood and coal) or cooking over open flames. This type of cooking paired with poor ventilation leads to high levels of indoor air pollution which can also contribute to lung cancer. Women and children are more likely to be affected by this indoor pollution due to their proximity to the cooking fire, and time spent in the household. Lower income populations across the world, like in rural India, China, are often where these high levels of indoor air pollution occur.

air-pollution
If it is necessary to go outside, wear the mask like Cambridge or Zukam mask (washable and reusable), or N99/N95 mask or at least simple cloth mask if none available to protect yourself from air pollution. Pixabay

Who is at risk

Anyone who lives where particle pollution levels are high is at risk.

Children, elderly, people with lung and heart disease and diabetes, people with low incomes, and people who work or exercise outdoors are at higher risk.

Also those who use solid fuels for cooking and heating at home are also at increase risk for developing lung cancer.

How to protect ourselves from air pollution and thus decreasing the risk of lung cancer

Certain measures can be adopted to protect ourselves from air pollution.

Important to be aware of the air quality index forecast for the day and limit the activity and thus exposure if pollution levels are high.

Avoid exercising along heavily travelled main roads or highways regardless of the overall forecast.

If it is necessary to go outside, wear the mask like Cambridge or Zukam mask (washable and reusable), or N99/N95 mask or at least simple cloth mask if none available.

Keep your indoor clean and ventilate at an appropriate time.

Can keep indoor plants at home to improve the quality of air at home.

Eating a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables and being healthy will also help in keeping us away from lung cancer by improving our immunity and defense mechanisms.

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As individuals, we can take steps to limit our contributions to local pollution sources by not burning wood or trash and not idling vehicles, especially diesel engines.

In developed countries with strict legislation and measures to decrease air pollution, there is a significant decrease in exposure to pollution and lung cancer, but it is still a major problem in other parts of the developing world, like India. (IANS)