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
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
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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