14th March 2015
JAIPUR: Increasing particulate matter (PM10) is one of the main causes of increasing respiratory diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Recently, environment minister Prakash Javadekar had expressed concern in Rajya Sabha over the exceeding prescribed level of particulate matter (PM10) in Alwar, Delhi and three other neighboring cities of Delhi.
According to health experts, the cases of asthma among children have increased significantly in the past one decade. "Almost a decade ago, childhood asthma was around 8-10% but it increased to 17-22% now. It is happening because of excessive environment pollution," Dr Deepak Yaduvanshi, consultant in-charge, department of respiratory and chest medicine of a private hospital said.
The health experts claimed mining is rampant in the state, which is one of the leading causes of respiratory diseases as mining enhances particulate matter in the air, which damages lungs. Also, increasing number of diesel vehicles are giving rise to particulate matter, the health experts claimed.
Sawai Man Singh (SMS) hospital former allergy and pulmonary medicine specialist and director, Asthma Bhawan, Dr Virendra Singh said, "If a person is suffering from allergic rhinitis lives continuously in an environment with particulate matter exceeding prescribed limit, he will become a patient of Asthma. Even high particulate matter level can cause heart attack. We are receiving cases with asthma in increased numbers due to rise in pollution level. The cases of COPD) are also on the rise due to continuous exposure of patients to high particulate matter."
He said, "I do not advise patients suffering from asthma and COPD to go on morning walk in fog as in fog the particulate matter gets entangled with fog and when a patient breathe in the air, the particulate matter enters the lungs leading to asthma attack or deteriorate the COPD patient's condition."
Dr Yaduvanshi said that the leading causes of increasing particulate matter in Rajasthan is mining, vehicular pollution and increasing diesel vehicles. The diesel vehicles emit more un-burnt volatile organic compounds in comparison to petrol vehicles.
He added that mining also giving rise to suspended particulate just like it is happening in Alwar and other parts of the state. "Because of extensive mining, not only the cases of occupational lung diseases are increasing but it also affecting other too. Due to suspended particulate exceeding prescribed limits, a person may suffer from bronchospasm, lung fibrosis, silicosis and interstitial lung disease (ILD) too. The higher the cases of ILD, the higher would be the cases of tuberculosis. The cases of TB are increasing in young generation. Earlier, there were hardly any case in people belong to upper socio economic status suffering from TB, but now such cases are found in such class of the society because of the pollution.
Publication : Times of India
Edition : Jaipur
Date : 14th March 2015