A THREE-DAY residential training programme on biological monitoring, analysis and quality assurance began at the School of Public Health, PGI, here on Thursday. Over 35 participants from various institutes, pollution control boards and health departments, representing 13 states, are attending the training programme, organised by Panjab University, Chandigarh, in association with the Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi, and Department of Health Research, Delhi.
A statement said experts from institutes like National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur, Aligarh Muslim University, Punjabi University, Patiala, CPCB, Delhi, PGIMER, Chandigarh, and PU, Chandigarh are taking part in the programme.
According to PGI, Dr Ravindra Khaiwal, Associate Professor of Environmental Health, School of Public Heath, PGI, highlighted the importance of biological monitoring and mentioned that the use of living organisms as indicators can increase reliability and effectiveness of analytical control of environmental contaminants. “Micro-organisms, protozoa, aquatic plants and animals may serve as biological indicators to measure the total toxicity in aquatic environment and can play a major role in programmes like Namami Gange and in maintenance of local ponds and lakes,” he said.
Dr Suman Mor, Co-ordinator, Centre for Public Health, PU, said changes in the freshwater system can produce diverse biological effects ranging from severe effects (such as episode of mass mortality of big fish was observed at Dhanas lake near Chandigarh) to subtle effects. “Changes like these indicate that the ecosystem and its associated organisms are under severe stress. Hence, the water from such ecosystems could affect the human health,” said Mor.