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Public Health Impact of Particulate Matter Pollution in Nepal: A Review


Sudarshan Dhungana , Padmashree School of Public Health; Raksha Dahal, Padmashree School of Public Health; Yadav Bandhu Bhurtyal, Padmashree School of Public Health; Rishi Ram Bhatta, Padmashree School of Public Health; Thaneshwer Joshi, Padmashree School of Public Health


Particulate Matter Pollution, Impact on Human Health


Worldwide air pollution continues to pose a significant threat to human health. Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. According to Yale Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2016, Nepal ranked on 149 among 180 countries in terms of air quality. Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu, which also chokes beneath a blanket of pollution, there is neither data nor any proper information available regarding air quality. Different natural and anthropogenic reasons are responsible for the emission of complex mixtures of air pollutants, many of which are harmful to health. Particulate matter also consists of a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air. Particulate matter affects more people than any other pollutant. There is a close, quantitative relationship between exposure to high concentrations of small particulates (PM10 and PM2.5) and increased mortality or morbidity, both daily and over time. The effects of particulate matter on health occurs at levels of exposure currently being experienced by many people both in urban and rural areas and in developed and developing countries. Fine particles are more dangerous than coarse particles, as PM2.5 can penetrate into the alveolar regions of the lungs these particles may cause serious damage to developing lungs of children. Ambient particulate matter is responsible for harmful effects on health, even in the absence of other air pollutants. Long-term exposure to current ambient particulate matter concentrations may affect the lungs of both children and adults and may reduce life expectancy by a few months, mainly in subjects with pre-existing heart and lung diseases. Acute exposure studies that evaluated short-term (usually daily) variations in health end points such as hospitalizations, and lung function associated with short-term variations in levels of pollution. Long term (months, years) exposure can cause some chronic health issues like includes, increased mortality rates, reduced survival times, chronic cardiopulmonary disease and reduced lung function. The issues of particulate matter pollution should be addressed by the national level policy that can be applied at different public and private sectors. The government of Nepal has introduced several policies, legislation and standards related to air pollution. Those policies and legislation need to be implemented to fight against the pollution.

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Manuscript Id :IJSTEV3I4012
Published in :Volume : 3, Issue : 4
Publication Date: 01/11/2016
Page(s): 19-22
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