Air pollution affects both quality and quantity of life
With the paramount objective to cascade awareness and disseminate knowledge about taking care of air pollution and smog, to lead a healthier, happier, and prosperous life, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) organised a webinar on Air Pollution & Smog – Health & Prevention. The webinar, a part of the Illness to Wellness initiative, highlighted the health effects of air pollution and smog.
Air pollution is hard to escape, it is all around us and smog is serious problem in most big urban areas. Health effects of air pollution & smog are serious. One third of deaths from stroke, lung and heart disease are due to air pollution. Smog can irritate the eyes, throat, and also damage the lungs.
Anil Rajput Chairperson, ASSOCHAM CSR Council in his welcome speech said, “Poor air quality or air pollution has been a constant and deeply concerning matter.” Highlighting the challenges of smog that hangs over cities to smoke inside the home, Mr Rajput stated that, this poses a major threat to health, affecting the cardiovascular respiratory system and compromising a host of other bodily functions, resulting increase in morbidity and mortality. “Therefore, a no-regret strategy containing all possible preventive measures is imperative to address this global public health emergency”, he added.
In his address Dr G C Khilnani, MBBS, MD – General Medicine General Physician said, “Quality of life and Quantity if life is affected by air pollution.” The most common diseases caused by air pollution include ischemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer and acute lower respiratory infections in children. He stated that particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulphur dioxide are pollutants of great public health concern. Also, indoor and outdoor air pollution are significant contributors to morbidity and death and are known to induce respiratory and other illnesses.
“Children are most vulnerable to the harmful consequences of air pollution,” said Dr Anurag Mahajan, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine and Vice Chairman of the Critical Care Department, PSRI. “The likelihood of birth deformities, infant mortality, neurological problems, obesity, problems with lung development, pneumonia, and asthma is raised as a result of these impacts,” he remarked.
Dr Umesh Chandra Ojha, Director, Institute of Occupational Health and Environment Research, ESIC PGIMSR Hospital, Basai Darapur, New Delhi shared every living organism is dependent on mother earth for their survival. Harming nature implies harming living beings; be it human race or other flora and fauna.
Dr Shivanshu Raj Goyal, Consultant Respiratory Disease & Sleep Medicine (Unit II) Artemis Hospitals, Gurugram said that air pollution can affect every organ in the human body. According to him, people who have allergies to pollution may experience itching, a scratchy throat, a runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes.
Dr Rajesh Kesari, the founder and director of Total Care Control in Delhi-NCR and a member of the RSSDI EC who moderated the discussion, focused on food items that can be beneficial in winters like jaggery, pepper, fish, broccoli, turmeric to support and protect lung health.