Australian environmental activist Manoj Kumar and his global team have filed a petition to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for establishing PM1 air pollutant standards and regulation to protect human health and the environment.
Kumar, who is also the director of Clean Technology Equipments Pty Ltd, founded the Global Council for Environment and Health (GlobalCEH), an organization consisting of a team of passionate and dynamic academicians, young researchers and social workers. GlobalCEH has started a campaign called “CATS” (Clean Air to Survive). It has submitted an enclosed petition to the World Health Organization (WHO) to set some standards for PM1 in ambient air.
“Air pollution is one of the most significant global challenges. It affects the environment and public health. Most of the air pollution studies and discussions surround larger size particulate matter (PM), i.e., PM10 and PM2.5. Finer, and, deadlier particles of less than 1 micrometer in size (PM1), have received less attention. While there are regulations and standards to monitor and control PM10 and PM2.5, these are lacking for PM1,” says Kumar.
“These extreme fine or nanoparticulate matters are available everywhere in the atmosphere, these particles consist primarily of organic ions, hydrocarbons and metals. These suspended particulate matters are present in the form of fumes, mist, smoke formed due to incomplete combustion of fossil fuels. Emissions from motor vehicles, power generation, industrial combustion, metal smelting, wood/biomass burning etc. are chiefly responsible for particulate pollution,” he explains.
PM1 are so fine that they enter into the bloodstream from lung tissue and circulate like oxygen molecules in the human body and cause inflammation of lung tissue, decreased lung function, development of chronic lung diseases, severity of asthma attacks in children, premature death in people with heart and lung diseases etc.
Children under 14 years of age, adults of 65 year and older, anyone with chronic lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, or the one with cardiovascular and diabetes are at higher risk. The deleterious effect of extreme fine particles is not limited to human health but pose a serious threat to the environment as well as they reduce visibility. Being lighter in weight, these particles can be carried over to long distances by winds, makes the lakes and other water bodies acidic, reduces the nutrients in soil, and also damages the farm crops and forests.
Working with air pollution control equipments during his professional journey, Kumar realised that the focus on more dangerous finer particulate matter is missing and that inspired him to initiate the CATS campaign under GlobalCEH. Through this petition, Kumar and his team at GlobalCEH hope for rapid action by WHO towards declaring stringent standards and regulations for the monitoring and control of PM1 and prevent further social and environmental damage.
Australian environmental activist Manoj Kumar & his global team have filed a petition to the World Health Organisation @WHO for establishing PM1 air pollutant standards & regulation to protect human health & the environment. #TheIndianSun @manojkumar_alphttps://t.co/PKI9SHGgN4
— The Indian Sun (@The_Indian_Sun) April 16, 2021