Centre to study air quality, health link opened

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CHENNAI: With studies showing how exposure to household air pollution can lead to respiratory infections, adverse pregnancy outcomes and heart disease, Sri Ramachandra University and Indian Council of Medical Research opened a centre for advanced research on air quality, climate and health on Thursday.

 “We need research in environmental and occupational health to generate evidence for key policy decisions leading to sustained actions,” said ICMR director general Dr Soumya Swaminathan.
 “We have conducted long-term studies with ICMR on the impact of indoor air pollution. At this centre, we want to move a step further and research possible interventions to reduce pollution and its impact on heath,” said Dr Kalpana Balakrishnan. The studies will be funded by international organisations, including UN Foundation (Global Alliance for Clean Cook stoves), Public Health Institute, US, and US National Institutes of Health. Dr S P Thiyagarajan, dean research at SRMC, said the centre would conduct a randomised controlled trial of LPG stove and fuel distribution in 800 households in Tamil Nadu as part of global effort to deliver evidence regarding potential health benefits of clean fuel use for women and children.
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