Doctors are asking people living near the Mulund dumping ground to use devices such as an air purifier to save their lungs from the smoke emitting from the dump yard.
Dr Vinay Gopalani, a resident of Hari Om Nagar and a dermatologist, said, “Doctors are asking people to use air purifiers. We have advised patients who live close to the dumping ground to keep the air purifier on at night, as breathing is very shallow at night. This means what we inhale while sleeping affects the lungs immediately.”
An air purifier removes contaminants from the air. It is said to be beneficial for those who suffer from allergies and have asthma. It filters dust, smells, pollen, pet dander, mite faeces, smoke and dust that can act as allergens.
According to the Mumbai fire brigade’s control room, the fire was doused around 1pm on Thursday afternoon. “We had a total of 12 firefighters, three fire engines and two water tankers stationed at the dumping ground since the fire started,” said an official from the fire department.
“There is a rise in the number of asthma cases. Children are the worst-hit. One patient has started getting rashes all over the body owing to allergies from the smoke. We generally administer anti-allergic treatment, but those medicines only work for a short span,” said Gopalani.
“The smoke hangs heavy. Only rain can bring relief,” said Subhash Jagtap, a Mulund resident.
Vandana Kumavat, departmental head, Rajiv Gandhi Medical College, Kalwa, said, “The smoke has hazardous gases such as sulphur monoxide, methane and nitrogen. As a result, chest infections and asthma have been very common.