Policy Engagements and Blogs

Air pollution as a preventable cause of adverse birth outcomes in India: New evidence from cohort studies in Tamil Nadu

Navroz K Dubash

January 12, 2018
12 January 2018

Watch the full video (above) of the talk by Prof Kalpana Balakrishnan, where she presents results from a recently concluded cohort studies in Tamil Nadu, providing some of the first quantitative effects estimates for linking PM2.5 exposures and birthweight in India in rural and urban areas. Her research provides important evidence for this association from high exposure settings that experience dual health burdens from ambient and household air pollution.

Highlighting the need for considering maternal exposures to PM2.5 alongside other risk factors as a cause for low birthweight and other adverse pregnancy outcomes in India, Prof Balakrishnan emphasises on the imminent need for strategic air quality actions focused on protecting vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and infants.

Findings from this study have been published in Environmental Research (2018) and BMJ Open (2015).

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.

The question and answer session that followed can be accessed here. The presentation from the evnet can be accessed here.

This is the third event in the Clearing the Air Seminar Series, organised by the Initiative on Climate, Energy and Environment (ICEE) at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR). The series aims to promote sustained and informed public understanding around the data, impacts, sources and policy challenges involved in clearing Delhi’s air. While it will focus on the context of Delhi, the series will also reflect on 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. The full videos of the first two events can be accessed here and here.