Academic journal article International Journal of Population Research

Exposure to HAP and the Regional Pattern of Air-Related Morbidity in India: A Multivariate Analysis

Academic journal article International Journal of Population Research

Exposure to HAP and the Regional Pattern of Air-Related Morbidity in India: A Multivariate Analysis

Article excerpt

Academic Editor:Alberto Davila

DumDum Motijheel Rabindra Mahavidyalaya, 208/B/2 DumDum Road, Kolkata 700074, India

Received 26 August 2014; Revised 4 June 2015; Accepted 23 June 2015; 28 July 2015

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Introduction

Household Air Pollution (HAP) has a serious health outcome, causing annually 3.3% deaths and 2.7% morbidity worldwide [1]. In the high mortality developing countries (which make up 40% of the world population), HAP is considered to be the 4th most dangerous killer after malnutrition, unsafe sex, lack of safe water, and sanitation. This paper tries to identify the possible causes that may explain the indoor air-related health hazards in the urban parts of the Indian subcontinent. In the urban settings, Outdoor Air Pollution, or OAP, can be an important contributor to indoor air quality [2, 3]. Exposure to OAP largely depends on the type of economic activities the victim engages in. The economic engagements are directly related to the level of development. Moreover, exposure to HAP primarily depends on the fuel types used in the household, the mode of cooking, living condition (structure of the house, ventilation, etc.), time spent near the pollution source, vulnerability of the victims, and so forth. These factors are reflected by the income standard, educational attainment, and health status of the person exposed. They have direct relation with the developmental achievements of the exposed individuals. In fact, these are the development indicators that are used in the measurement of Human Development Index. Therefore, the problem of HAP, as a function of OAP, or the problem itself, has an obvious connection with economic development and needs to be addressed from solely an economic perspective. So Indian States/UTs, with homogeneous developmental achievements, in terms of the factors mentioned above, are clubbed together for more focused and effective policy suggestions. This grouping of regions is also important, as the existing literature supports a huge disparity in the exposure to HAP between the developed and developing parts of the world. The problem of particulate matter pollution is more severe in the developing countries, accounting for 90% of the global exposure, leaving only 10% for their developed counterpart [4, 5].

Indian urbanization became more active from the beginning of 21st century. The share of the Indian population living in urban areas increased from around 28% (290 million) in 2000 to around 30% (340 million) in 2008 and is expected to increase to 40% (590 million) by 2030 [6]. Most of these Indian cities are characterized by large slum-dwelling population, according to the National Family Health Survey-3 [7]. Poverty is more prevalent in the slum areas than their nonslum counterparts. However, the NFHS report says that the proportions of the poor living in nonslum areas are substantial in virtually all the major cities of the country. The occupational structure of both women and men is quite diversified in these cities. Among the urban males in India, 21% are employed in the formal sector and 79% are employed in the informal sector as of 2004-05. For urban females, formal employment was 16%, and informal part was as large as 84%. In general, women workers in the slum areas of every city are concentrated more in the production and service activities, whereas, women workers in the nonslum areas work more in the production and professional activities. Poor women workers are mostly engaged in service-related and production activities. Slums have much poorer housing conditions when compared to nonslum areas in terms of construction material, residential crowding, or ventilation of the dwelling. However, the poor have the worst housing conditions in all counts. …

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