July 26, 2014
CHENNAI: The city will host a meeting on Saturday to discuss the impact of coal on the environment and the health hazards the fuel poses.
To launch a debate, Coal Health Initiative will bring together a group of healthcare professionals and specialists in various diseases.
Two papers on pollution from coal plants and a review of literature on the health impact of coal will be presented to emphasise the need to understand the serious health hazards from coal.
The roundtable follows a 2012 report by the World Health Organisation which identified air pollution as the worlds single biggest environmental health risk.
Studies have found that one of every eight deaths in the world could be attributed to air pollution and burning of coal, wood and animal waste.
Since 60 per cent of electricity is generated from coal in India, it has become imperative to start the discussion, say environmentalists.
The roundtable will help to encourage India-specific research.
The concept roundtable has been used successfully in Australia and Africa too to propel public action, according to Shweta Narayan of Community Environmental Monitoring, which is organising the event at Huma Hospital.