Lung diseases due to indoor and outdoor air pollution in North India

Air Pollution North India
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NEW DELHI: The Lancet Global Health study has said that high exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution is the major cause behind high burden of chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) in northern states of the country.

Northern states have higher number of deaths than the states with cleaner air.

Chronic respiratory diseases including COPD and asthma were responsible for 10.9 per cent of all deaths in 2016. According to a study conducted by Lancet Global Health research,  the paper on the burden of chronic respiratory diseases said that around 25% of COPD cases in India are caused by smoking. COPD cases in India nearly doubled from 28.1 million in 1990 to 55.3 million in 2016.

Other smoke sources also impact lungs. The paper’s lead author and Chest Research Foundation director, Dr Sundeep Salvi explained, “Smoke from one mosquito coil can be as bad as smoking 100 cigarettes and burning one ‘dhoop’ (short 4-cm incense) and can be as harmful as smoking 500 cigarettes because they are usually lit indoors and release a lot of fine particulate matter which is very harmful to the airways.” He added that there is very less awareness about systematic changes caused in body due to indoor and outdoor pollution. He underlined in his papers that a substantial portion of COPD cases in India occur in people who have never smoked.

“Air pollution also contributes or is a risk factor for 3.3 per cent of all cancers and 43 per cent for lung cancer,” said Indian Council of Medical Research’s Dr Prashant Mathur, who is the lead author of the paper on cancer prevalence.

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