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2-day conference on environmental toxification

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) A two-day international conference on Health and Environment organised by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) began here today.

The conference brought together leading experts, policy makers, civil society groups and industry representatives from India and abroad in an effort to help Indian cities evolve strategies for addressing the problem of environmental toxification and health.

The objective of the conference was to find ways to address the critical issues and common concerns -- specifically in the areas of air pollution, water and sanitation, and toxins and food safety, CSE Director Sunita Narain said.

Parallel sessions on each of the three areas focused on issues ranging from state of air pollution and its health impacts in Asia and India; and current science on air pollution and health to health-based water standards; water quality management; waste water reuse and disposal; and regulating and monitoring toxins in environment.

CSE had been working on the health impacts of environmental change for some years. It hoped that this conference would help Indian researchers learn from what others were doing to control environmental toxification and find ways to use environmental science and technology to reduce human health impacts of economic development.

Its aim, thus, was not only to review the state-of-the-art technologies to regulating environmental pollution to find answers for the way ahead, but also to build a network of people working in this field.

''Health-based pollution control policies and standards assume significance in poor countries like India, where investments in public health are decreasing steadily and the poor bear the brunt of the disease burden,'' Ms Narain said.

Solutions to these problems could emerge from deeper understanding of the diversity of issues and challenges across the regions and the global best practices, she said.

''In this conference, we were particularly interested in evaluating the standard-setting processes to incorporate health criteria so that a beginning could be made in reducing health risks arising from toxic pollutants,'' she added.


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