Thursday, 8 December 2005

A quarter of traffic police force in Hyderabad suffers from lung problems with high levels of carboxy haemoglobin in blood

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Dec 8: A quarter of traffic police force in the city suffers from 
lung problems with high levels of carboxy haemoglobin in blood thanks to 
constant exposure to ever-increasing vehicular pollution.
According to a research study carried out by AP Government General and 
Chest Hospital, police personnel who are on traffic duty are more prone to 
lung-related diseases than their counterparts in crime and law and order 
sections. The study was carried out on traffic cops and control group and a 
comparative analysis revealed that even non-smoking traffic policemen have 
relatively higher levels of carboxy haemoglobin levels in their blood.
As many as 659 traffic constables were subjected to pollution study and of 
them 175 found to be suffering from one or other lung ailment. Similar 
studies were also carried out on traffic police personnel in Vijayawada and 
Visakhapatnam.
Hyderabad is closely behind Delhi, the fourth largest polluted city in the 
world, both in terms of suspended particulate matter, lead toxicity and 
carbon monoxide levels in atmosphere. There has been a three-fold increase 
in pollution levels in Hyderabad since 2000. The led toxicity levels in blood 
is of the order of 20 to 24 mg per decilitre as against the permitted levels of 
10 micro grams per decilitre. The carbon monoxide levels often cross the 
permissible limits in Hyderabad and since traffic cops are exposed to 
constant air pollution they are more prone to lung diseases than other 
citizens.
When CPI-ML legislator Gummadi Narasiah raised the issue in the State 
Assembly on Thursday, Home Minister K Jana Reddy announced that traffic 
cops would be exposed to fresh oxygen in oxygen chambers to improve their 
blood quality and detoxify the effect of carbon monoxide. Narasaiah 
demanded that traffic cops be given medical reimbursement facility as they 
are forced to undergo expensive tests in private hospitals.
"Traffic police personnel are being given fresh oxygen once a week free of 
charge. Anti pollution nose masks have been distributed to all cops on traffic 
duty," the home minister said.

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