Gurgaon’s air quality to be assessed pre and post Diwali
Officials said that areas to be assessed will be finalised within a week. Four zones will be demarcated for the survey, which will be conducted to assess the correlation between the health effect and air quality, officials said.gurgaon Updated: Oct 04, 2017 22:11 IST
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), in association with the state pollution department, plans to assess air pollution symptoms of respiratory diseases among residents of Gurgaon before and after the festival of Diwali.
A survey will be conducted to assess the degree of lung function impairment in persons chronically exposed to the city’s air. Officials said that areas to be assessed will be finalised within a week. Four zones will be demarcated for the survey, which will be conducted to assess the correlation between the health effect and air quality, officials said.
The survey will be based on questionnaires and also comprise health camps.
This initiative was planned as every year, the city’s air quality turns ‘poor’ following the Diwali festival. As per a World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2010, outdoor air pollution is considered the fifth largest killer in India after high blood pressure, indoor air pollution, tobacco smoking and poor nutrition. It was stated that around 6, 20,000 deaths take place in India every year from air pollution-related diseases.
“We have been asked by the CPCB to monitor the air quality index of the city and take necessary steps immediately (when it worsens) to curb pollution in case of poor air quality,” said JB Sharma, regional officer, Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB).
Sharma said the board will also conduct weekly meetings to assess the condition of air quality in the city for the next three months. The survey will be conducted in residential, industrial and commercial areas of the city, officials said.
“Vehicular emissions and chemicals from crackers, when trapped in atmosphere for a long time, can lead to harmful effects on health. Air quality of Gurgaon should be monitored at regular intervals, in prominent areas, to figure out solutions for high level of pollutants in the atmosphere,” Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy and head of the air pollution and clean transportation programme, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said.
Dr Rajesh Kumar, senior consultant, internal medicine, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, said, “During Diwali festival, there will be an increase in the level of harmful gases such as the suspended particulate matter(SPM) CO, NOx, hydrocarbons and SO2 . Pregnant women, children and those having chronic asthma are more vulnerable. Fireworks can also cause respiratory problems such as chronic or allergic bronchitis, bronchial asthma. Exposure to excessive sound levels could lead to restlessness, temporary or permanent hearing loss, high blood pressure, and sleep disturbances.
According to a study by CPCB last year, open burning of solid waste and bursting of crackers emit pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2).
Doctors are of the opinion that poor air quality has been impacting the health of residents. Dr Piyush Goel, consultant pulmonologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon, said, “The alarming pollution level is making the air around us fatal and is one of the most important factors leading to precipitation of asthma attacks. On an average, at least 1 in every 3 children suffers a respiratory issue in his or her lifetime. It is also causing heart problems.”