air pollution Current Affairs - 2019

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2 December: National Pollution Control Day

Every year 2 December is observed as National Pollution Control Day to commemorate the people who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident of Bhopal Gas Tragedy that occurred on this day in 1984.

About National Pollution Control Day

Objective: National Pollution Control Day has three major objectives:

  • To raise awareness about increasing air pollution and educating people about how to control and manage industrial disasters.
  • To make everyone aware of significance of pollution control acts and ways and to reduce the level of pollution
  • To control/ prevent industrial pollution that is a result of human negligence.

Significance:  The day shows how impactful air pollution is. As per National Health Portal of India (NHPI), every year about 7 million people globally die due to air pollution. NHPI also states that condition is so worse that 9 among 10 people globally do not have access to safe air. Air pollution is responsible for the damage of ozone layer and the pollutants present in air can potentially pass through protective barriers present in the body and can damage your lungs, brain, and heart.

About Bhopal Gas Tragedy

The year 2019 celebrated the 35th anniversary of Bhopal Gas Tragedy that took the life of thousands of people at midnight on 2 December 1984. Bhopal Gas Tragedy occurred after a highly toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas made its way into and around area situated near Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal and is considered as the world’s worst industrial disaster. As per official data, the incident claimed lives of 2,259 people immediately after incident, however, the Madhya Pradesh government had confirmed that a total of 3787 people died due to gas release.

NOTE: National Pollution Control Board (NPCB) is national governing body responsible for regulating conducts checks on industries to know whether they are following environmental regulations or not.

November 20: World COPD Day-marked by WHO

The WHO (World Health Organization) and Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) organizes World COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Day on the third Wednesday of November every year. It was first launched in 1997 by WHO, GOLD and other institutes in the US. This year the day is marked to create awareness in the

Theme: All Together to End COPD

Significance

COPD is currently the fourth major cause of death in the world. Diagnosing COPD condition is hard and is considered of the majorly under-diagnosed disease. Often the disease is confused with Asthma.

With increasing pollution, it is essential to create awareness about COPD among the public. Experts believe that COPD is likely to increase in the coming years with increasing pollution.

Creating awareness about the disease also becomes important as it is not curable but is preventable.

India

India has to increase its awareness campaign on COPD for two reasons namely pollution and smoking. India is home to 3 of the 10 highly polluted cities in the world according to the Skymet report. It includes Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. According to WHO, 12% of world smokers are from India.

In India the prevalence of the disease has increased by 29.2% between 1990 and 2016 according to the International Journal of Pulmonary and Respiratory Sciences. The highest incidence of the disease in the country is in the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

What is COPD?

COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It causes severe breathlessness and predisposes to exacerbations.