Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Delhi air quality regulations improve respiratory health

12.04.2011
Recent radical changes in air quality regulations in Delhi, India, have had a substantial positive effect on the health of city residents, according to new research co-authored by Andrew Foster, professor of economics and community health and an associate at Brown's Population Studies and Training Center.

The findings from this first systematic study quantifying the heath effects of Delhi's environmental interventions are published in the online issue of Atmospheric Environment. The research is among the first to use remote sensing imagery to look directly at the effects of air quality on health.

Ranking among the most polluted cities in the world, Delhi was at its peak of air pollution around the turn of the millennium, prompting the Indian Supreme Court to mandate a series of air quality regulations unprecedented in scope and implementation speed. Chief among the regulations was a mandate to convert all public vehicles — buses, taxis, and scooters — to compressed natural gas over a two-year period, substantially limit the flow of diesel trucks through Delhi during working hours, and close polluting industries in residential areas.

Foster and co-author Naresh Kumar, of the University of Iowa, administered a socioeconomic and respiratory health survey to 1,576 households (3,989 subjects), which collected time-use data, residence histories, demographic information, and direct measurements of lung function. To calculate pollution exposure at the place of residence, they also collected air pollution data in 2003 by monitoring 113 sites spread across Delhi and neighboring areas, recording particulate matter. To measure air quality levels in the previous years, the researchers analyzed satellite images provided by NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS).

Three major findings emerged from the analysis. First, the interventions were associated with a significant improvement in respiratory health. Second, the effects of ambient air varied significantly by gender and income. For example, they found that the effects are significant and negative among the lower-income households. Third, the data suggested that the differences are strongly correlated with the amount of time one spends outside. The poorest men spend an average of seven hours outside per day, while men in the richest households spent almost no time outside at all. The findings suggest that poorer men exhibited a significant negative relationship between ambient air and respiratory health, and better-off men exhibited an insignificant relationship.

"The huge thing that jumped out is the difference between the relatively poor and the relatively well-off households in terms of the kinds of adverse health effects they experienced," said Foster. "This really shows us something about the target population and the people who are being most affected by policy. It allows us to look at environmental justice on an individual level, rather than in regional groupings. ... This research opened up a whole new agenda on how we should think about environmental regulation in low income countries."

The paper is among the first to use MODIS remote sensing imagery to look directly at the effects of air quality on health, with the ground data used to help refine and test the validity of remotely sensed air quality estimates. These measures have since been used to look at the effects of voluntary environmental certification in Mexico in work published in the American Economic Review proceedings last year and by Kumar and a colleague at the National Bureau of Economic Research to examine the effects of restrictions on air quality that were imposed by the Chinese government during the Beijing Olympics.

This research was funded in part by Brown's Population Studies and Training Center and by two grants from the National Institutes of Health. Kumar is also a faculty affiliate of the Population Studies and Training Center.

Deborah Baum | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.brown.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

nachricht Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>