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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Ahead of Diwali, health dept spreads awareness on paints, firecrackers

cities Updated: Sep 30, 2019 19:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Noida: The health department of Gautam Budh Nagar has started a drive to spread awareness about the harmful effects of poor quality wall paints that contain several toxic chemicals. The awareness drive is being held ahead of Diwali, as residents tend to clean and paint their houses prior to the festival season.

Officials are also trying to convince people to buy only green crackers — low-emission crackers— this Diwali in order to adhere to the Supreme Court order that had banned firecrackers in Delhi-NCR on account of heavy pollution.

Dr Anurag Bhargava, chief medical officer, said, “A majority of people clean their houses and paint them before Diwali. That is why we are reaching out to maximum number of people explaining the bad effects of chemicals present in paints on their health. Lead and other chemicals in paints can cause various health issues like lead poisoning, asthma and sinusitis.”

“We cannot support or name any particular brand of paint. all we can suggest is that people go for good brands and quality products to avoid health hazards. Another issue which we are focusing on is the usage of green fire crackers to avoid pollution,” Bhargava said.

“Paints contain potentially harmful chemicals such as solvents and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). After the paint dries, these chemicals evaporate and people end up inhaling the toxic fumes,” the CMO said. Inhaling of VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, the doctor said.

He said the paint fumes can also cause asthma and sinusitis. “If the solvents are absorbed by the lungs and the blood stream, it can cause headache and dizziness. People can also have blackouts if there is not enough ventilation in rooms where the paint has been applied fresh.

Officials have also started spreading awareness regarding the ban on firecrackers, directed by the Supreme Court in 2017.

People who burst banned firecrackers will be booked under Section 151 (arrest to prevent the commission of cognizable offences) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), and FIRs against sellers will be registered under Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Under Section 151 of the CrPC, a person can be arrested and a surety bond of ₹50,000 taken from them. The maximum punishment under Section 188 of the IPC is a jail term of up to one month and a fine of ₹100.

First Published: Sep 30, 2019 19:46 IST

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