NEW DELHI: The AIIMS, Delhi, launched a clinical ecotoxicology facility, a first-of-its-kind in India, to investigate increasing cases of diseases resulting from exposure to environmental toxins contaminating water, food and air.
“Pollution is responsible for a global public health crisis. The facility will be the nodal point for leading research in clinical ecotoxicology in the country,” AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said, while drawing the people’s notice to the alarming increase in the rate of death and disability due to environmental toxicity.
This newly launched clinic will provide diagnostic consultation as well as research services to all the clinical departments dealing with diseases due to ecotoxicity. The patients visiting OPDs will be referred to the clinic for counselling and further diagnostics.
Dr Javed Ahsan Quadri from Anatomy department added that the clinic will open doors for evaluation of causes of many diseases, including cancer. “Basically our facility will engage in knowing the origin of unknown factors in diseases like why there is a certain rise in number of cancer cases even among those who don’t smoke. Whether environment is a factor for this and other causes will now be evaluated,” he said.
According to the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health, contaminated water, air and soil are responsible for about nine million early deaths. About 92 per cent of these deaths due to environmental toxicity occur in the low-income and middle-income countries, which include India.