What are the Pollution Control Norms for Indian Companies?

We woke up to, sadly, not surprising news of Air Pollution increasing multiple times in the area around Kharghar in Navi Mumbai. The citizen’s group in the area conducted the analysis of air and found some startling news – the air quality and the level of pollutants had crossed beyond the permissible limits.

air pollution in Navi Mumbai

This unprecedented rise in the air pollution is due to the increasing industrialization in the MIDC area. Not just air, but also water and other environmental bodies are at a severe risk of pollution, which has already begun showing effects.

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Delhi, on the other hand, is in public health emergency state, according to IMA.

The Indian Parliament, in 1976, became the first country to pass the 42nd amendment of its constitution, safeguarding the environment. Over the last couple of decades, the quality of air pollution in India has depreciated to the lowest. The world has reached the maximum carbon dioxide level that was seen 3 – 5 million years ago. Today, due to high fuel consumption, vehicular use, industrialization, a number of pollutants, especially the Particulate Matter (PM 2.5 and 10) have seen an all-time high.

The effect of this pollution is clearly seen even in the indoor premises. Offices and residences are facing the problems in the form of disorders like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) which is non-curable and only maintained through medicines. From simple allergies, cough and inflamed alveoli, to lung cancer and tumors, the risks the too big to ignore. Sadly, the symptoms, up until now, could not be linked to pollution, making it ‘the silent killer’ of lakhs of people.

Adding to the ergonomic factor of corporates, pollution indoors is 10X more harmful and has 10X more pollutants than the outdoor air. This is due to poor ventilation, poor HVAC system, use of products that cause air pollution, etc.

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What are the norms and regulations for Pollution Control by the Government Authorities?

As of now, no direct standards exist for the companies and the need for air testing in the premises. However, norms and Good Practices do exist, which should be made as our prerogative to adopt and implement.

The Air (Pollution and Control) Act, 1981 and The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 are 2 of the seven Pollution Control Regulations.

Focussing on the Air Act, the regulation gives the State Government power to declare any location as polluted. The government may only ‘suggest’ control pieces of equipment like chimneys, HVAC and technologies for emission control to be installed, specific for industries. Categories of industries are prepared already, depending upon the kind of pollution caused.

However, no mandatory rule for air testing exists.

As per the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), only that company/industry which is likely to discharge harmful sewage, air or any product that possess a danger to the environment and to life, need to obtain consent of the State Pollution Control Board. Unfortunately, this leaves out maximum corporate companies, where indoor pollution is on a high. 

The outdoor air can be checked against several parameters like cyanide, oxides, particulate matter and more. This leaves out Indoor Air Pollution which kills more than 6 lakh people globally.

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India has adopted the principles of various international organisations like ASHRAE giving rise to Indian Air Pollution Control society ISHRAE to counteract the menace of air pollution. Water and Food testing have clear and mandated laws defined; this is not the case in the air and hence, Good Practices are something each company should adopt for its employees.

This adoption includes regular testing of the air, monitoring the levels of pollutants, checking the HVAC and the assessment building infrastructure are some ways to identify the pollution and curb the menace before it causes any damage.

Only a continuous monitoring and identifying the cause by testing, can one find the source of pollution, both indoor and outdoor. Only this can slowly lead to stabilized pollution levels and gradual reduction of the same.

For more information about air pollution and ways to identify if your corporate company is one of the victims or not, feel free to contact us on +91 82916 31145. You can also send us an email on air.support@equinoxlab.com with all your queries and we shall personally assist you with pollution control solutions.

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