RISING AIR POLLUTION: DEMAND ACTION-DRIVEN ADVOCACY AND BEHAVIOUR CHANGE FOR HEALTHER LIVES
Air pollution is a major environmental health problem affecting the developing and the developed countries alike. The effects of air pollution on health are very complex as there are many different sources and their individual effects vary from one to the other. It is not only the ambient air quality in the cities but also the indoor air quality in the rural and the urban areas that are causing concern. In fact in the developing world the highest air pollution exposures occur in the indoor environment. Air pollutants that are inhaled have serious impact on human health affecting the lungs and the respiratory system; they are also taken up by the blood and pumped all-round the body. These pollutants are also deposited on soil, plants, and in the water, further contributing to human exposure. (1) Governments alone are not responsible for addressing such issues and health care professionals (HCPs) need to consider whether their duty of care should extend beyond normal clinical boundaries. When considering the ethics around the generation and effects of air pollution, especially in relation to justice and health care, actions taken by HCPs (e.g. in a country such as India) potentially extend beyond treating individual patients one-at-a-time for toxic effects of emissions and include advocating on behalf of others. (2) This paper covers the health impacts arising from ambient and household air pollution globally and at the national level (India) and recommends policy measures to reduce the health impact from air pollution in the national context. (3) Community health advocacy is also considered as of the main tasks of public health. Health professionals try to solve health problems with effective strategies. One of them is, specifically, community health advocacy. To act on health problems in the global context, participation and communitarian perspective is a choice. In addition to this behaviour change towards healthier lives by modifications in specific practices pertaining to rationale use of energy, water, cooking etc. is crucial for quality of life.
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