Air quality not healthy at Kilpauk, Tambaram: Apollo Hospitals doctor

Chennai: Smog is one of the most important concentrated particulate matters which would contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The air quality at Kilpauk and Tambaram are not healthy,’ said Respiratory Research Foundation chairman and Apollo Hospitals senior respiratory physician, Dr R Narasimhan.

He was speaking at an event about COPD and its burden in India here Tuesday.

Addressing mediapersons, he said, ”It was surprising to see smog in the city. Even during Deepavali¬†¬†and Bhogi, there was not much smog around. Chennai is one of the centres where most of the lands and independent spaces are getting converted into apartments and it leads to rise in the number of vehicles owned.”

Citing Lancet Global Health, 2018 report, he said India has become the COPD capital of the world. ”The severity of the disease can be judged by the fact that the country has the most COPD cases and ranks second when it comes to death caused by the condition,” he said.

”Spirometry is used to diagnose COPD. However, using the device is a part of medical curriculum. Although it is now available in major hospitals, we may not find in peripheral areas. Unlike asthma or diabetes, COPD does not have control programme. There has to be public participation to reduce the burden,” he stated.

Narasimhan also stated that the respiratory condition is also prevalent among non-smokers due to second-hand smoking and inhalation of bio-mass smoke.

The doctor further advocated of having assigned places. ”We cannot have a school in residential area that results in vehicular traffic and adds up to pollution. When places are assigned, we can come down on the condition. China effectively conserved the energy and that is how the incidence of COPD came down there,” he said.

He elaborated on the adoption of electric vehicles that could significantly reduce the pollution.

NT Bureau