Thursday, 8 December 2005

A quarter of Hyderabad traffic police force suffers from lung problems

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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