Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Hyderabad Air: Automobile pollution in Hyderabad has assumed enormous proportions if lung infections among APSRTC city bus drivers are any indication. A large percentage of city bus drivers suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Automobile pollution in twin cities has assumed
enormous proportions if lung infections among APSRTC city bus drivers
are any indication. A large percentage of city bus drivers suffer from
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Pulmonologists from Shadan Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad,
conducted a research study on the health of APSRTC city bus drivers.
They chose only those drivers, who do not have a history of smoking.
The buses they drive are ordinary vehicles with open windows. They
found that about 40 per cent of city bus drivers covered under the
study had COPD.

The health of APSRTC city bus drivers is indicative of the general
health of citizens, who spend long hours outside, and commuters, who
travel long distances daily. Exposure to automobile pollution for long
hours results in allergic reactions including COPD and other lung
issues.

“Hyderabad has a high percentage of total suspended particular matter
(TSPM), which often touches 400 mg/cubic metre of air. The average
TSPM for twin cities is about 280 mg/cubic metre of air. Half of this
TSPM comes from vehicular pollution,” the Shadan team pointed out in a
presentation at the just-concluded international scientific conference
of the World Allergy Organisation here.

The research team comprised Dr Mohammed Faisal, Dr Prasad Eswara
Chelluri, Dr Saikrishna Singaraju, Dr Jayasri Helen Gali and Dr Sayeed
Ahmed.

The team found COPD in 35 out of 82 (42.6 per cent) drivers under
study. The incidence of COPD was “mild” in 16 drivers (45 per cent),
“moderate “in 18 (51.4 per cent) and “severe” in one (2.8 per cent).

Thirteen of 30 drivers had been suffering from COPD for more than10
years. Twenty-two of 52 drivers with work experience of less than 0
years had COPD. Shortness of breath was noticed in 35 drivers, cough
in 12 (14.6 per cent), morning sputum in 15 (18 per cent), wheeze in
six and recurrent sinusitis in seven (8 per cent).

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