Public debate over the quality of Delhi's air reliably spikes every winter, along with the readings from air quality monitors. However, public discussion tends to rapidly taper off, even as the air quality remains consistently bad.
The Initiative on Climate, Energy and Environment (ICEE) at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) is organising a seminar series - Clearing the Air? Seminar Series on Delhi's Air Pollution - to promote sustained and informed public understanding around the data, impacts, sources and policy challenges involved in clearing Delhi's air. While we will focus on the Delhi context, the series will also reflect the fact that the problem extends far beyond Delhi. The seminar series will present the work of experts in a range of areas, to help promote informed public discussion about what changes are needed, what is possible, and how to get it done. Clearing the air in terms of knowledge and public information, we hope, will make a small contribution toward actually clearing Delhi's air.
About the talk:
There is increasing consensus that exposures to ambient and household air pollution may be associated with increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes including intra-uterine growth retardation, low birthweight, and pre-term births. The evidence from high exposure settings that are commonly encountered in low and middle income countries (LMICs) has however been sparse.
The Talk presents results from recently concluded cohort studies in Tamil Nadu that provides some of the first quantitative effects estimates for linking rural-urban PM2.5 exposures and birthweight in India, adding important evidence for this association from high exposure settings that experience dual health burdens from ambient and household air pollution. Study results point to the need for considering maternal PM2.5 exposures alongside other risk factors for low birthweight and other adverse pregnancy outcomes in India. The results also point to the imminent need for strategic air quality actions focused on protecting vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and infants.
About the Speaker:
Prof Kalpana Balakrishnan Ph.D., FAMS is the Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, SRU-ICMR Centre for Advanced Research on Air Quality, Climate and Health, Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, and subsequently her doctoral and post-doctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University, USA.
Her primary research involvement has been in the area of exposure assessment and environmental epidemiology with a focus on air pollution in the ambient, household and occupational environment. She has contributed to several national and international technical assessments concerned with air quality including The WHO Air Quality Guidelines and IARC Monographs for household and ambient air pollution, The Global Burden of Disease and Comparative Risk Assessments (since 2000), The Global Energy Assessment in 2009 and the Indian National Air Quality Index. She continues to serve as a WHO expert group member for the WHO Air Quality Guidelines 2016 Update.
She currently serves as a member of the National Steering Committee on Air Pollution Related Issues for Health Effects for the Ministry of Health Govt. of India and as Chair for the Environmental Risk Factors Expert Group for the India State level Burden of Disease Initiative.
Amongst her notable recognitions include being elected as a fellow of National Academy Of Medical Sciences, India and being a recipient of The Hari Om Ashram Trust Award for Outstanding Scientist administered by the UGC, Govt. of India, the Outstanding Woman Scientist Award of The Government of Tamil Nadu and The Award for Excellence in Environmental Health Research administered by Harvard Medical International.
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CPR's ICEE produces research, informs public opinion and generates debate on climate, energy and environment policy at international, national and sub-national levels. Our goal is to enhance policy outcomes through informed research and policy dialogue within India and internationally.