Indoor Air Pollution and Concerned Health Costs in Indian Context
Unmilan Kalita1, Arup Kumar Hazarika2
1Unmilan Kalita, Department of Economics, Gauhati University, Assam, India.
2Arup Kumar Hazarika, Department of Zoology, Cotton University, Assam, India.
Manuscript received on 06 August 2019. | Revised Manuscript received on 10 August 2019. | Manuscript published on 30 September 2019. | PP: 7559-7566 | Volume-8 Issue-3 September 2019 | Retrieval Number: C6190098319/19©BEIESP | DOI: 10.35940/ijrte.C6190.098319
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© The Authors. Blue Eyes Intelligence Engineering and Sciences Publication (BEIESP). This is an open access article under the CC-BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Abstract: Clean air is considered the fountain of life that enables humankind to sustain healthy lives while supporting unique ecosystems of the Earth. The United Nations, being the supreme policymaking body in the world, has duly stated that “clean air is a human right”. The underlying reason for this derives itself from gruesome statistics asserting that between 6 and 7 million people die prematurely each year due to air pollution, and around 90% of the global pollution breathes polluted air. Being the existential threat pollution is, most of it is caused by burning of fossil fuels that contributes not only to climate change but also deteriorating human health. A significant portion of air pollution is constituted by indoor air pollution through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which has been a major cause of concern for India. It has been observed that 9 out of 10 people in India breathe air that breached safe limits and 7 million people die each year due to household air pollution through exposure to fine particles causing cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer and other pulmonary diseases. Women form a significant portion of such sufferers, whereby, a WHO report has found that mothers were more likely to deliver underweight babies in households with indoor air pollution from solid fuels. Associated with this, is the issue of increasing household expenditure on health vis-à-vis women. This paper examines the impact of such indoor pollution on women vis-à-vis health costs as part of their household expenditure allocations. Observations emphasise the need to reverse such trend of increasing indoor air pollution while moving on to a phase of employing greener fuels and technologies among households, and associated sensitive policymaking. This is expected to not only increase the standard of health among women of different strata but also will propel the productivity of human capital on a per capita basis.
Keywords: Air Pollution, Women, Health Costs, Carbon Emissions.
Scope of the Article: Healthcare Informatics