MAJOR ENVIRONMENT INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS:
1. United Nations Conference On Environment And Development (UNCED)
2. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
3. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
4. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES)
5. The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC)
6. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS)
7. Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT)
8. International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTC)
9. United Nations Forum on Forests (LTNFF)
10. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN)
11. Global Tiger Forum (GTF)
12. Stockholm Convention
13. Basel Convention
14. Rotterdam Convention
15. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
16. International Whaling Commission (MC) Atmosphere
17. Vienna convention and Montreal Protocol
18. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
19. Kyoto Protocol
United Nations Conference On Environment And Development (UNCED)
Also known as the Rio Summit, Rio Conference, Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.
The issues addressed included:
Systematic scrutiny of patterns of production — particularly-the production of toxic components,
such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste including radioactive chemicals
Alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil fuels which are linked to global climate
New reliance on public transportation systems in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in
cities and the health problems caused by polluted air and smog
The growing-scarcity of water
Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
Two important legally binding agreements
1. Convention on Biological Diversity
2. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Rio Declaration on Environment and The Rio Declaration consisted of 27 principles intended to
guide future sustainable development around the world.
Agenda 21 is an action plan of the United Nations (UN) related to sustainable development
It is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of
the UN, governments, and major groups in every area in which humans directly affect the environment.
The number 21 refers to an agenda for the 21st century.
Agenda 21 for culture
During the first World Public Meeting on Culture, held in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2002.
The first document with worldwide mission that advocates establishing the groundwork of an
undertaking by cities and local governments for cultural development.
“Rio+20” is the short name for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development which
took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012 – twenty years after the landmark 1992 Earth Summit in
The official discussions focussed on two main themes:
1. how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of
2. how to improve international coordination for sustainable development.
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
CBD is a Legally binding Convention recognized for the first time, that the conservation of biological
diversity is “a common concern of humankind” and is an integral part of the development process. The
agreement covers all ecosystems, species, and genetic resources.
The conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and
equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources, including by
appropriate access to genetic resources and by appropriate transfer of relevant technologies, taking
into account all rights over those resources and to technologies, and by appropriate funding.
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity
Biosafety refers to the need to protect human health and the environment from the possible adverse
effects of the products of modern biotechnology.
The Convention clearly recognizes these twin aspects of modern biotechnology.
1. Access to and transfer of technologies
2. Appropriate procedures to enhance the safety of biotechnology technologies
The Protocol establishes procedures for regulating the import and export of LMOs from one country
Nagoya—Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol
The Cartagena Protocol is reinforced by theNagoya—Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on
Liability and Redress.
The Supplementary Protocol specifies response measures to be taken in the event of damage to
biodiversity resulting from LMOs.
It was adopted in May 2002 during the sixth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
The Target aimed to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at
the global, regional and national level as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all
life on earth’.
Strategic Plan For Biodiversity 2011-2020
In the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, held in 2010, in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture,
Japan, adopted a revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, including the Aichi
Biodiversity Targets, for the 2011-2020 period.
The tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties agreed to translate this overarching international
framework into national biodiversity strategies and action plans within two years.
Additionally, the meeting decided that the fifth national reports, due by 1 March 2014, should focus
on the implementation of the 2011-2020 Strategic Plan and progress achieved towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
1. Strategic Goal A:
Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across
government and society
2. Strategic Goal B:
Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
3. Strategic Goal C:
To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species
and genetic diversity.
4. Strategic Goal D:
Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
By 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable
Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization
5. Strategic Goal E:
Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management and capacity
COP 11 HYDERABAD:
One of the most important outcomes of the CoP is the commitment of the Parties to double the
international financial flows for Bio Diversity by 2015. This will translate into additional financial
flows to the developing countries to the tune of about US $ 30 billion in the next 8 years.
India has committed US $50 million towards strengthening the institutional mechanism for
biodiversity conservation in the country during its presidency of the Convention on Biodiversity
(CBD) called the Hyderabad Pledge
The funds will be used to enhance technical and human capabilities at the national and state-level
mechanisms to attain the CBD objectives
India formally took charge of the presidency of CBD from Japan for the next two years on October 8
at the inaugural of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP 11) to CBD.
India has instituted together with UNDP Biodiversity Governance Awards.
The first such awards were, given during the CoP 11.
It is now proposed to institute Rajiv Gandhi International Award for Harnessing Biodiversity for
RAMSAR CONVENTION ON WETLANDS:
The Convention on Wetlands [waterfowl convention] is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the
framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of
wetlands and their resources.
It was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975, and it is the only
global environmental treaty that deals with a particular ecosystem.
Ramsar is not affiliated with the United Nations system of Multilateral Environmental Agreements,
but it works very closely with the other MEAs and is a full partner among the “biodiversity-related
cluster” of treaties and agreements.
World Wetlands Day, 2 February every year.
Number of Contracting Parties: 163 (Please refer my Ramsar Compilation which is already posted in
Teamwork 2015 Group)
“The conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local, regional and national
actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable
development throughout the world”.
“Three pillars” of the Convention
The Parties have committed themselves to
Work towards the wise use of all their wetlands through national land-use planning, appropriate
policies and legislation, management actions, and public education;
Designate suitable wetlands for the List of Wetlands of International Importance (“Ramsar
List”) and ensure their effective management;
Cooperate internationally concerning trans boundary wetlands, shared wetland systems, shared
speeds, and development projects that may affect wetlands.
The Montreux Record
Adopted by the Conference of the Contracting Parties in Brisbane, 1996, accompanying the
Guidelines for Operation of the Montreux Record
The Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International
Importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to
occur as a result of technological developments, pollution or other human interference.
It is the the principal tool of the Convention and is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.
Indian wetland and the Montreux Record
Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan and Loktak Lake, Manipur have been included in Montreux
Record in 1990 and in 1993 respectively
Chilika Lake, Orissa included in Montreux Record in 1993 but have been removed in
Chilika Lake gets Wetland Conservation Award for 2002.
Five global non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been associated with the treaty since
its beginnings and were confirmed in the formal status of International Organization Partners
(I0Ps) of the Convention.
1. Bird Life International (formerly ICBP)
2. IUCN – The International Union for the Conservation of Nature
3. IWMI – The International Water ManagementInstitute
4. Wetlands International (formerly IWRB, the Asian Wetlands Bureau, and. Wetlands for the
5. WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) International
The Changwon Declaration on human well-being and wetlands
The Changwon Declaration highlights positive action for ensuring human well-being and
security in the future under the themes – water, climate change, people’s livelihood and health,
land use change, and biodiversity.
India and wetland convention
India became a contracting party to the Ramsar Convention in 1981 and has been implementing
conservation programmes for wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs.
India presently has 26 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance.
There is close coordination between implementing units of Ramsar with that of CBD at the
national level. India took a lead role in the formulation of Ramsar guidelines on integration of
wetlands into river basin management.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES) is an international agreement between governments entered’ into force in 1975, and
became the only treaty to ensure that international trade in plants and animals does not threaten
their survival in the wild.
Currently 176 countries are Parties to CITES
CITES is administered through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Protecting Species from Unsustainable Trade
Species for which trade is controlled are listed in one of three Appendices to CITES, each
conferring a different level of regulation and requiring CITES permits or certificates.
➢ Includes species threatened with extinction and provides the greatest level of protection,
including restrictions on commercial trade.
Examples include gorillas, sea turtles, most lady slipper orchids, and giant pandas.
➢ Includes species that although currently not threatened with extinction, may become so
without trade controls. It also includes species that resemble other listed species and need to
be regulated in order to effectively control the trade in those other listed species.
➢ Includes species for which a range country has asked other Parties to help in controlling
international trade. Examples include map turtles, walruses and .Cape stag beetles
CoP13, these meeting were held every two years; since then, CoPs are held every three
CoP16 is scheduled to occur from March 3-14, 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
TRAFFIC: The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network
TRAFFIC is a joint conservation programme of WWF and IUCN.
It was established in 1976 by the Species Survival Commission of IUCN,
TRAFFIC has grown to become the world’s largest wildlife trade monitoring programme, and
a global expert on wildlife trade issues.
This non-governmental organization
To ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS)
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known
as CMS or Bonn Convention)
aims to conserve terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range.
It is an intergovernmental treaty, concluded under the aegis of the United Nations
The Agreements may range from legally binding treaties (called Agreements) to less formal
instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding, and can be adapted to the requirements of
Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT)
aims to focus public and political attention and resources on ending the illegal trade in wildlife
and wildlife products.
Initiated in 2005, CAWT is a unique voluntary public-private coalition
CAWT is leveraging the combined strengths of government and nongovernmental partners to:
Improve Wildlife Law Enforcement by expanding enforcement training and information
sharing and strengthening regional cooperative networks
Reduce consumer demand for illegally traded wildlife by raising awareness of the impacts of
illegal wildlife trade on biodiversity
Catalyse high-level political will to fight wildlife trafficking
The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)
ITTO is an intergovernmental organization, under UN (1986) promoting the conservation and
sustainable management, use and trade of tropical forest resources.
United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF)
The Economic and .Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), established the UNFF In
October 2000, a subsidiary body
with the main objective to promote “the management, conservation and sustainable development
of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end” based on
the Rio Declaration, the Forest Principles, Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the outcome of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) I intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF)
Processes and other key milestones of international forest policy.
The Forum has universal membership, and is composed of all Member States of the United
Nations and specialized agencies
Enhance the contribution of forests to the achievement of the internationally agreed
development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals,
The four Global Objectives seek to:
1. Reverse the loss of forest cover worldwide through sustainable forest management (SFM),
including protection, restoration, afforestation and reforestation, and increase efforts to prevent
2. Enhance forest-based economic, social and environmental benefits; including by improving
the livelihoods of forest-dependent people;
3. Increase significantly the area of sustainably managed forests, including protected forests,
and increase the proportion of forest products derived from sustainably managed forests; and
4. Reverse the decline in official development assistance for sustainable forest management and
mobilize significantly-increased new and additional financial resources from all sources for the
implementation of SFM
IUCN was founded in October 1948 as the International Union for the Protection of Nature (or
IUPN) following an international conference in Fontainebleau, France.
ALL READY COVERD IN PREVIOUS CHAPTERS
Priority Areas of IUCN
THE GLOBAL TIGER FORUM (GTF)
is an inter-governmental and international body established with members from willing
countries to embark on a worldwide campaign, common approach, promotion of appropriate
programmes and controls to save the remaining five sub-species of tigers in the wild
distributed over 14 tiger range countries of the world.
Formed in 1994 with its secretariat at New Delhi, GTF is the only inter-governmental &
international body campaigning to save the TIGER worldwide.
The General Assembly of GTF shall meet once in three years.
To promote a worldwide campaign to save the tiger, its prey and its habitat;
To promote a legal framework in the countries involved for bio-diversity conservation;
To increase the protected area network of habitats of the tiger and facilitate their inter passages
in the range countries;
To promote eco-development programmes with the participation of the communities living in
and around protected areas;
elimination of illegal trade;
the development and exchange among themselves , of appropriate technologies and
training programmes for scientific wildlife management
To set up a participative fund of an appropriate size to engender awareness in all places
Global Tiger Initiative
An alliance of governments, international, agencies, civil society, and the private sector united
to save wild tigers from extinction
Goals of GTI
To support capacity-building in governments for responding effectively to the transnational
challenge of illegal trade in wildlife and for scientifically managing tiger landscapes in the face
of mounting and varied threats;
To curtail international demand for tiger parts and other wildlife
To develop mechanisms for safeguarding habitats from development through planning ‘smart,
green’ infrastructure and sensitive industrial development;
To create innovative and sustainable financing mechanisms for tiger landscapes including
To build strong local constituencies for tiger conservation through development of economic
incentives and alternative livelihoods for local people;”
To spread the recognition among governments, international aid agencies and the public
that tiger habitats are high-value diverse ecosystems with the potential to provide
immense benefits- both tangible and intangible
THE STOCKHOLM CONVENTION ON POP
The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants was adopted at a Conference of
Plenipotentiaries on 22 May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden and entered into force on 17 May
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are organic chemical substances, that is, they are carbonbased:
They possess a ‘particular combination of physical and chemical properties such that, once
released into the environment, they:
remain intact for exceptionally long periods of time (many years);
become widely distributed throughout the environment as a result of natural processes
involving soil, Water and, most notably, air;
accumulate in the fatty tissue of living organisms including humans;
and are found at higher concentrations at higher levels in the food chain;
are toxic to both humans and wildlife
not soluble in water
The 12 initial POPs
Initially, twelve POPs have been recognized as causing adverse effects on humans and
the ecosystem and these can be placed in 3 categories:
1. Pesticides: aldriri, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor,
hexachlorobenzene, mirex, toxaphene;
2. Industrial chemicals: hexachlorobenzene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); and
3. By-products’: hexachlorobenzene; polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated
dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF), and PCBs.
The new POPs under the Stockholm Convention Nine new POPs
1. Pesticides: chlordecone, alpha hexachloro- cyclohexane, beta hexachlorocyclohexane,
2. Industrial chemicals: hexabromobiphenyl, hexabromodiphenyl ether and hePtabromodiphenyl ether, pentachlorobenzene, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride, tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether; and
3. By-products:, alpha hexachlorocyclohexane, beta hexachlorocyclohexane and pentachlorobenzene
At its fifth meeting held in 2011, the CoP adopted an amendment to Annex A to the Stockholm Convention to list technical endosulfan and related isomers with a specific exemption
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes_
and their Disposal was adopted on 22 March 1989 by the Conference of Plenipotentiaries in
To protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous
Its scope of application covers a wide range of wastes defined as “hazardous wastes” based on
their origin , and/or composition and their characteristics, as well as two types of wastes
defined as “other wastes” –household waste and incinerator ash.
The reduction of hazardous waste generation and the promotion of environmentally sound
management of hazardous wastes, wherever the place of disposal;
the restriction of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes
a regulatory system applying to cases where transboundary movements are permissible
Examples of wastes regulated by the Basel Convention
Biomedical and healthcare wastes
Used lead acid batteries
Persistant Organic Pollutant wastes (POPs wastes),
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs),
Thousands of chemical wastes generated by industries and other consumers
It was adopted in 1998 by a Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and
entered into force on 24 February 2004.
The Convention creates legally binding obligations for the implementation of the Prior Informed
Consent (PIC) procedure. It built on the voluntary PIC procedure, initiated by UNEP and FAO
in 1989 and ceased on 24 February 2006.
The Convention covers pesticides and industrial chemicals that have been banned ,or severely
restricted for health or environmental reasons by Parties and which have been notified by Parties
for inclusion in the PIC procedure.
to promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among Parties in the international trade
of certain hazardous chemicals in order to protect human health and the environment from
Established in 1994, UNCCD is the sole legally binding international agreement linking
environment and development to sustainable land management.
The UNCCD is particularly committed to a bottom-up approach, encouraging the participation
of local people in combating desertification and land degradation.
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is one of the Rio
Conventions that focuses on desertification, land degradation and drought (DLDD).
‘Desertification’ as-defined in the UNCCD refers to land degradation in the drylands (arid, semi
arid and dry sub humid regions) resulting from various factors and does not connote spread or
expansion of deserts.
UNCCD with 194 Parties
The convention aims at adaption and can, on implementation, significantly contribute to
achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as sustainable development and
poverty reduction by means of arresting and reversing land degradation.
The convention promotes sustainable land management (SLM) as solution to global challenges
International Whaling Commission
is the global intergovernmental body charged with the conservation of whales and the
management of whaling with headquarters in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
It was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling which was
signed in Washington DC on 2nd December 1946
To provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly
development of the whaling industry.
In 1986 the Commission introduced zero catch limits for commercial whaling. This provision is
still in place today, although the Commission continues to set catch limits for aboriginal
Vienna convention adopted in the year 1985 and entered into force in 1988.
It acts as a framework for the international efforts to protect the ozone layer however it does not
include legally binding reduction goals for the use of CFCs.
With 197 parties, they are the most widely ratified treaties in United Nations history.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was designed to Reduce
the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances in order to reduce their
abundance in the atmosphere, and thereby protect the earth’s fragile ozone Layer.
The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987, and entered into force on January 1,
1989, followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, May 1989.
Since then, it has undergone seven revisions, in 1990 (London), 1991 (Nairobi), 1992
(Copenhagen), 1993 (Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing).
India and Protection of Ozone Layer
India became a Party to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer on 19 June
1991and the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer on 17
Consequently, it ratified the Copenhagen, Montreal and Beijing Amendments in 2003.
India produces CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-113, Halon-1211, HCFC-22, Halon-1301,
Carbontetrachloride (CTC), methyl chloroform and methyl bromide.
These ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) are used in refrigeration and air conditioning, fire
fighting, electronics, foams, aerosol fumigation applications.
A detailed India Country Programme for phase out of ODS was prepared in 1993
The Ministry of Environment and Forests established an Ozone Cell and a steering committee
on the Montreal Protocol to facilitate implementation of the India Country Programme for
phasing out ODS (ozone depleting substances) production by 2010.
In order to meet the objectives of the Protocol, the Indian government has granted full
exemption from payment of Customs and Central Excise Duties on import of goods designed
exclusively for non-ODS technology
GLOBALLY IMPORTANT AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE SYSTEMS
The FAO recognizes the agricultural heritage regions of the world under a programme titled
Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS).
purpose of GIAHS is to recognize “Remarkable land use systems and landscapes which are rich
in globally significant biological diversity evolving from the co-adaptation of a community with
its environment and its needs and aspirations for sustainable development”.
In our country so far the following sites have received recognition under this programme:
1. Traditional Agricultural System, Koraput, Odisha
2. Below Sea Level Farming System, Kuttanad, Kerala
In the Koraput system, women have played a key role in the conservation of biodiversity.
The Kuttanad system was developed by farmers over 150 years ago to ensure their food security
by learning to cultivate rice and other crops below sea level.
The Kuttanad System is now attracting worldwide attention since one of the effects of global
warming is sea level rise.
It has therefore been an act of vision on the part of Kerala government to have decided to, set up
an International Research and Training Centre for Below Sea Level Farming in Kuttanad.
ENVIRONMENT ISSUES AND HEALTH EFFECTS
Eco-toxicology is “a study of the effects of released pollutants on the environment and on
the biota that inhabit it.
It gives an indication of biological damage. It is an estimate of the amount of radiation of
any type, which produces the same biological injury in man as that resulting from the
absorption of a given amount of X-ray radiation or gamma radiation.
Iodine – 131
Iodine -131 produced by nuclear tests is passed to vegetation and then appears in the milk of
the cattle that consume the contaminated vegetation and is passed to humans.
Iodine-131 causes serious damage to thyroid gland, especially among children.
About 99% of long-term radioactivity from either strontium or radium taken into the human
body is found in the bones.
Lead is highly toxic to plants and animals including man. Lead generally affects children
more severely than adults.
Lead poisoning causes a variety of symptoms. These include liver and kidney damage,
reduction in hemoglobin formulation, mental retardation and abnormality in fertility and
pregnancy. Symptoms of chronic lead-poisoning are of three general types.
a. Gastrointestinal troubles – most common in industrial workers includes intestinal
b. Neuromuscular effects – collectively called lead palsy, and impairment of muscle
metabolism resulting into residual paralysis and muscular atrophy.
c. Central nervous system effects – CNS syndrome- a panoply of nervous system
disorders, they may lead to delirium, convulsions coma and death.
This is the most common and most toxic in water bodies. It occurs , in water as
Methyl mercury vapours cause fatal poisoning.
The recent popularity of energy efficient compact to fluorescent lamps or CFLs has added
another dimension to the controversy.
Toxicity of mercury is much greater than any other substance, about 1000 times more potent
It occurs in nature as fluoride, in air, soil and water.
Fluorisis is a common problem in several states of the country due to intake of high fluoride
Fluorides cause dental fluorisis, stiffness of joints (particularly spinal cord) causing humped
back. Pain in bones and joint and outward bending of legs from the knees is called KnockKnee syndrome.
In cattle, fluoride intake causes staining, mottling and abrasion of teeth, lameness and
decrease in milk production.
Toxic pesticides as BHC, PCB, DDT etc., are not easily degraded and are long-lasting in the
Their concentration therefore goes on increasing in water and soil with successive
DDT was sprayed for many years on marshes to control mosquitoes.
The DDT has bio-magnified from water to fish eating birds and humans. DDT is known to
depress the activity of estrogen, the female sex hormone and testosterone, male sex
LEAD IN PAINTS
present in paints.
Though several countries have banned the use of this substance India is yet to: do so, which
is why paint makers use them.
‘Inhaling lead dust like opening or closing windows is the most common source of lead
The human body is not designed to process lead. Young children are particularly vulnerable
to lead as it can damage the central nervous system and the brain.
If lead is so poisonous why do paint makers continue to use it?
Using lead, substitutes increases the cost and also reduces paint performance.
Transfats are formed during the process of addition of hydrogen atoms to oils, a process
which industry prefers as it keeps the oil from turning rancid and ensures a longer Shelf life.
(E.g trans-fatty acid in vanaspati).
Transfats are associated with a host of serious health problems ranging from diabetes to
heartdisease to cancer.
The health ministry in 2008 came out with a notification for labelling food including
Junk food high in transfats,
HIGH CAFFEIENE IN ENERGY.DIUNKS
Energy drinks are in controversy because of its high caffeine content. Most of these brands
have upto 320 ppm of caffeine in them. These drinks are marketed as an instant source of
The manufacturers claim that it is the combination of caffeine, taurine, glucoronolactone,
vitamins, herbal supplements, and sugar or sweeteners that gives the energy.
According to study reports, it is the sugar that gives the energy rush, the caffeine only gives
a ‘feeling’ of energy.
Energy drinks fall under the category of ‘Proprietary foods’ in the Prevention of Food
Adulteration (PFA) Act of 1954.
An amendment in the PFA act 2009 ensured that caffeine in energy drinks should be
capped at 145 ppm, the limit that was set for carbonated beverages.
However, Red Bull managed to get a stay order on the amendment of the PFA act in2010
and since then the energy drink market is expanding unregulated.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is currently making regulations
on energy drinks.
PESTICIDE IN HUMAN BLOOD
Pesticides are commonly used in India but this comes at great cost to human health. It found
that 15 different pesticides in the 20 blood samples tested from four villages in Punjab.
TESTING OF PESTICIDE TOXICITY
All pesticides are tested to establish toxicity — a dose necessary to produce a measurable
harmful effect; it is usually established through tests on mice, rats, rabbits and dogs.
Results are then extrapolated on humans, and safe exposure levels predicted.
he value commonly used to measure acute toxicity is LD 50 (a lethal dose in the short term;
the subscript 50 indicates the dose is toxic enough to”killl 50 per cent of lab animals
exposed to the chemical).
LD 50 values are measured zero onwards; the lower the LD 50 the more highly toxic the
comparison of DDT most Used in India up to the early 1990s ,with monocrotophos,
currently most used.
DDT’ S LD 50 is 113 mg/kg; monocrotophos, 14 mg/kg. But never forget that lower LD 50
means higher acute toxicity
DISEASES CAUSED BY ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION
a) Minamata disease
first discovered in Minamata city in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan in 1956.
caused by the release of methyl mercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso
Corporation’s chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968.
referred to as Chisso-Minamata diseas, is a neurological syndrome caused by severe
occurred in the city of Yokkaichi in Mie Prefecture, Japan between 1960 and 1972.
The burning of petroleum and crude oil released large quantities of sulfur oxide that caused
c) Itai-itai disease
was the documefited case of mass cadmium poisoning in Toyama Prefecture, Japan,
starting around 1912.
The cadmium poisoning caused softening of the bones and kidney failure.
The cadmium was released into rivers by mining companies in the mountains.
d) Blue baby syndrome
caused by high nitrate contamination in ground water resulting in decreased oxygen
carrying capacity of hemoglobin in babies leading to death.
The coal miners are frequently caught by the black lung disease, which is also called as
caused due to the deposit of coal dust in the lungs of coal miners, leads to a serious lung
disease called as Black Lung disease
Workers working in the asbestos industry are caught by the serious lung disease
called as asbestosis.
caused due to the deposit of silica in the lungs of workers working in silica industries
or at the sand blasting sites
The breaking down of sensitive tissue of lungs due to air pollution and smoke of
cigarette is called as Emphysema.
Once this disease happens, the lungs cannot expand and contract properly
I) Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a combination of ailments (a syndrome) associated
with an individual’s place of work or residence.
Most of the sick building syndrome is related to poor indoor air quality.
The National Wastelands Development Board (NWDB)
The National Wastelands Development Board (NWDB) was set up under the.
Ministry of Environment & Forests in 1985 with the objective of
i. to increase tree and other green cover on wastelands,
ii. to prevent good land from becoming wasteland, and
iii. to formulate within the overall nodal policy, perspective plans and programmes
for the management and development of the wastelands in the country.
In 1992, the Board was transferred to the Ministry of Rural Development, putting
under a New Department of Wastelands Development under the charge of a Minister
a test in which organisms are used to detect the presence or the effects of any other
physical factor, chemical factor, or any other type of ecological disturbance.
are very common in pollution studies.
can be conducted by using any type of organisms.
The fish and insect bioassays are very common.
The aim is to find out either lethal concentration or effective concentration causing
mortality or other effects. Ultimately they are to be used for determination of safe
concentration of a chemical or maximum acceptable toxicant concentration (MATC).