SUBJECT :Pollution 

Around 35 per cent of school children in Indian cities are suffering from poor lung health, according to a survey.

Released today by 'Breathe Blue' and Heal Foundation, the survey, carried out in four cities, revealed that the kids in Delhi were the worst-affected with 40 per cent of them falling under the category of poor and bad health.

In Kolkata, the figure is 35 per cent, Bangalore 36 per cent while in Mumbai, 27 per cent kids are victims.

The survey, released on the eve of World Asthma Day, is a part of Clean Air India Movement and included 2,000 school students in the age group of 8-14 from all parts of the county aimed at mapping the effects of air pollution on breathing capacity of young children.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report had recently said 13 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India.

Eminent environmentalist Subhas Dutta said the situation got worse in Kolkata because it had less road space leading to more vehicle congestion and lack of clean fuel vehicles.

"LPG autos are a minority. We need more clean fuel vehicles. And then there is the issue of old public transport vehicles which emit more," he said.

Dr Anirban Maitra, consultant paediatric pulmonologist at AMRI Hospital and R N Tagore & Institute of Child Health (ICH) said cases of irritant dry cough among kids are increasing.

"Although there are many factors which cause respiratory troubles, air pollution is certainly one of them," he said.

Dr Parthasarathi Bhattacharya, Pulmonologist and Director of Institute of Pulmocare & Research, said the chances of having COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary) is much higher in cities than in villages due to air pollution.


Source: 4 May, 2015, The Times of India