Exposures to environmental pollution remain a major source of health risk throughout the world, though risks are generally higher in developing countries like India, where poverty, lack of infrastructure, and weak environmental legislation combine to cause high pollution levels.
According to the World Health Organization, 23% of global deaths and 26% of deaths among children under five are due to modifiable environmental factors. A significant proportion of the environmental disease burden is attributable to risks including poor ambient and indoor air quality, unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene, exposure to toxic chemicals, and climate change. According to the 2013 Global Burden of Disease India Report, high blood pressure, indoor air pollution, tobacco smoking, poor nutrition, and outdoor air pollution are the five biggest killers in India.
To understand and to address the environmental health burden of disease in India, the Centre for Environmental Health was established in May 2016 with support from Tata Sons and Tata Consultancy Services. It is based at
the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) in partnership with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.