Lack of awareness leads to delay in getting treatment | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Lack of awareness leads to delay in getting treatment

mumbai Updated: Apr 30, 2012 01:35 IST
Snehal Rebello

If you suffer from dizziness and nausea at your workplace, the polluted air in your office environs is the culprit.

According to environmental experts, the lack of awareness on indoor air pollution results in delayed detection of health problems and subsequent lack of proper medication.

"Lungs are the largest surface area in the body: the organ takes in ten times more air than the stomach takes in food. Both indoor and outdoor air are serious concerns for chest physicians," said Dr Laxmi Menon of KEM hospital, Parel adding poor indoor air affects senior citizens, housewives and children since they spend more time inside the house.

Awareness on indoor air quality assumes great significance in a city like Mumbai that is witnessing increasing vehicular traffic, infrastructure projects. While the US and UK developed policies for indoor air quality following instances of 'sick building syndrome' where citizens complained of frequent headaches due to improper ventilation, environmentalists said India may go the same way if the poor indoor air quality issues are not addressed.

"The biggest culprit is building design. For instance, sliding windows limit ventilation because it only partially opens the window space," said Rakesh Kumar, director for Mumbai's NEERI centre. "We need to formulate an indoor air quality policy for the country that will have to be compulsorily incorporated in the building design."

Currently, the Central Pollution Control Board is looking at draft IAQ standards prepared by the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi. "We must study international experiences, involve various stakeholders, identify select pollutants and research on them for health and economic aspects. This should be followed by monitoring protocols," said Prasad Modak, founder, Environmental Management Centre, Dadar.