ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH IMPACTS OF AIR POLLUTION: AN EVALUATION IN INDIAN CONTEXTJINU JOSEPH
Air pollution is considered as one of the major drivers of climatic variation in the world. It is now the biggest environmental as well as health risk. At present, nine out of ten people breathe polluted air. It is the main cause of 11.6 percent of universal deaths. Each year/almost 5,43,000 children below five years die as a result of respiratory problems connected to air pollution. Therefore, air pollution has emerged as an important issue all over the world. India is no exception from this problem and also facing serious air pollution, especially in its big cities. The solution to this problem is very complex because of the existence of wide range of pollutants and sources. Understanding the seriousness of this problem, the Government of India has taken various steps for the control and prevention of air pollution in the country. The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Boards have been set up for protecting the environment and controlling the pollution in the country. The paper provides an insight into the extent of air pollution in India, emission sources of air pollutants and the environmental and health impacts of air pollution. The paper also deals with some of the air pollution control measures taken by the Government of India.