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National Pollution Prevention Day is observed on 2nd December in India. This day is observed in the memory of people who lost their lives in Bhopal gas calamity. Bhopal gas tragedy occurred in the year 1984 on the night of 2–3 December. Many people died due to poisonous gas Methyl Isocyanate also known as MIC. Bhopal Gas Tragedy is considered as one of biggest industrial pollution disasters.

Objectives of the day:

  • To spread awareness on managing and controlling industrial disasters
  • To prevent the pollution produced by industrial processes or human negligence
  • To make people and industries aware about the importance of pollution control acts

Preventive methods taken by the Indian Legislation:

  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974
  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act of 1977
  • Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981
  • Environment (Protection) Act of 1986
  • Environment (Protection) Rules of 1986
  • Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemical Rules of 1989
  • Manufacture, Storage, Import, Export & Storage of Hazardous Micro- Organisms Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells Rules of 1989
  • Chemical Accidents (Emergency, Planning, Preparedness and Response) Rules of 1996
  • Bio-Medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules of 1998
  • Recycled Plastics Manufacture and Usage Rules of 1999 
  • Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation) Rules of 2000
  • Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules of 2000
  • Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules of 2000
  • Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules of 2001
  • Environment Impact Assessment Notification of 2006
  • The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
  • Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016
  • Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016
  • Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016
  • Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016
  • E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016
  • Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016

Due to different types of pollution, natural resources such as water, air, land or forest are being affected speedily. Thus, it is very essential to implement the rules and regulations properly to protect the environment and to reduce the pollution.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. It provides technical guidance to the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India.

Functions of CPCB

  • to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and
  • to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.

Facts about air pollution:

  • Nine out of ten people worldwide do not breath safe air.
  • Air pollution kills 7 million people every year globally, 4 million of whom die from indoor air pollution.
  • A microscopic pollutant (PM 2.5) is so tiny that it can pass through mucus membrane and other protective barriers to damage lungs, heart, and brain.
  • The key pollutants include particulate matter, a mix of solid and liquid droplets arising from fuel combustion, nitrogen dioxide from road traffic; ozone at ground level, caused by the reaction of sunlight with pollutants from industrial facilities and vehicle emissions; and sulphur dioxide, and invisible gas from burning fossil fuels like coal.
  • Children and old persons are highly affected by air pollution.
  • Air pollution is also responsible for climate change.

Ways to limit breathing polluted air:

  • Limit walking on busy streets during rush hour, and if you have a young child with you, try and lift them up above the level of vehicle exhausts.
  • Don’t burn waste as the smoke that results damages the health.
  • Promote use of renewable energy.
  • Enhance plantation such as urban forest and green roofs for reducing pollution in urban areas.
  • Turn of lights and electronics not in use.

References:

www.gcpcenvis.nic.in/CelebrateDays/

cpcbenvis.nic.in/Environment_legislation.html

envfor.nic.in/division/environment-protection

cpcb.nic.in/Introduction/

breathelife2030.org/news/infographic-library/