NGT Calls For Regulations On Indoor Air Quality At Public Places

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday said that there is a need for the regulation of indoor air quality in public places.

The NGT bench headed by Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel further added that a proper mechanism will be evolved by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) with coordination of other concerned ministries like Urban Affairs and Ministry of Health.

Dileep Nevatia filed an application in the NGT focusing on the fact that Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) is as serious as Outdoor Air Pollution (OAP).

He further added that it has the potential of affecting public health. He also cited the adverse impact it has on health like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and even lead lung cancer. He further pointed out that the most affected groups are women and young children.

Advocate KC Mittal appearing for the applicants stated that morbidities associated with IAP are respiratory illness, acute respiratory tract infection, poor perinatal outcomes like low birth weight and stillbirth, cancer of the nasopharynx, larynx, lung, and leukemia.

According to a WHO report, in terms of the environmental burden on health, noise is second only to air pollution. In Spite of these factual positions, no standards have been laid down by the MoEF&FC or CPCB.

While passing the direction the bench said that a Joint Committee may hold its first meeting within one month and after deliberations work oi=ut appropriate standards and protocols for indoor air quality for safeguarding public health in public places within three months. The direction also stated that applicants can send their own representatives to the committee. He further added that MoEF/CPCB may issue appropriate orders under the relevant statutory provisions.

The application further added that large public buildings where people gather in large numbers need to maintain safe and healthy air quality by appropriate regulations.

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