Construction dust, Cement roads, and air pollution are responsible for current health problems: Study
The people of Nagpur are facing significant air pollution challenges due to multiple factors including industrial activities, vehicular movement, building and road construction, etc.
Nagpur: Such a claim has been made in a study by the Pulmonology Department of KRIMS Hospital that the increase in the number of patients coming to OPDs and emergencies with severe cough, cold, throat irritation, difficulty in breathing, and increase in respiratory symptoms, especially during February, is due to increase in road dust, construction dust, and air pollution levels.
The study also states, “The people of Nagpur are facing significant air pollution challenges due to multiple factors including industrial activities, vehicular movement, building and road construction, etc.”
“This particular period is known for its poor air quality index (AQI), which means there is an increased level of air pollution. We even have data from the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to back it up.” said veteran pulmonologist Dr. Ashok Arbat, under whose guidance this observational study was conducted.
Hospitals also reported a significant increase in the number of admissions and OPD visits during the last 45 days, especially in areas where the AQI was also high – between 140 and 210. The severity of asthma and COPD was also reported.
The construction of a cement road is underway
Dr. Ashok Arbat also said, “During OPD visits, most patients’ histories suggested exposure to street dust, construction dust, and air pollution.”
As per the study, cement roads and building construction activities generate more noise and vibration than other types of roads. “Cement roads and other construction materials absorb and retain heat from sunlight, which increases the temperature in cities. This can further increase air pollution by increasing the formation of ground-level ozone and other pollutants,” Dr. Ashok Arbat said.
Particulate matter from construction dust can go deep into the lungs and cause inflammation and irritation. Chemical emissions from construction sites such as paints, solvents, and adhesives can emit volatile organic compounds, which can be highly irritating to the respiratory system, He added.
Currently, the construction of a cement road is also underway in the two busiest parts of the city – Ramdaspeth and Amravati Road. Doctors have also advised people suffering from cough and congestion to wear masks to stay safe.
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