Published: 08th November 2021
Diwali has been hazardous for children: Air pollution causes irreparable, irreversible damage to children's health, says expert
Dr Kumar said that children are also suffering from problems in the brain, lung, heart, and other organs due to pollution
Has Diwali made it harder for children to even breathe? As the level of air quality in Delhi-NCR deteriorated to hazardous levels post-Diwali and is now in the severe category, Dr Arvind Kumar, the Chairman of Institute of Chest Surgery at Medanta Hospital in Gurugram on Sunday said that air pollution triggers serious health problems in children, and causes irreparable and irreversible damage. There is smog in the air and it will continue till January, he added.
Kumar, citing the "Lung Care Foundation" study, said, "More than 50 per cent of adolescents in Delhi have a higher incidence of chest symptoms, 29 per cent have asthma, 40 per cent are obese (200 per cent higher incidence of asthma). Children are suffering. We have found that the children are coming with chest problems. They complain of having breathing problems. In short, air pollution is adversely affecting them," the doctor said.
Further, Kumar said that children are also suffering from problems in the brain, lung, heart, and other organs due to pollution. Talking about air pollution and the measures that the government undertook to tackle it, Kumar said, "Installing a smog tower is a colossal waste of public money and a grave mistake. The answer lies in preventing the air from getting polluted."
"Pollution has killed more people than COVID but it has not been given the kind of attention it deserves," Kumar added. Kumar also said that some drastic steps need to be taken to control pollution. "Stubble burning is one of the major areas that should be prioritised," he said. The air quality in Delhi continues to remain in the 'severe' category with the AQI standing at 436, said the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) on Sunday.
The pollution level in the National Capital Region (NCR), namely Noida and Gurugram, was also worrisome. Noida reported AQI in the 'hazardous' category at 575, while the air quality in Gurugram was at the upper end of the 'severe' category at 478.