KSPCB says air pollution this Deepavali has increased by 25 per cent

Apart from the festivities and the celebrations, Deepavali leaves behind some bitter memories for those injured while bursting firecrackers.

Like every year, cases of burns and eye injuries have been reported in some of the hospitals in the city. The number of eye injuries were far more than the cases of burns.

Over the last three days, Victoria Hospital reported three patients admitted with burns sustained while bursting firecrackers. One of the major cases reported was of a seven-year-old girl who was admitted to the hospital on Friday.

Smitha Segu, in-charge of burns ward, said that the girl had developed burn injuries while she was playing with sparklers, which burnt her clothes resulting in 25 per cent burns on her trunk. “The two other separate cases that were reported at the hospital, involved minor injuries to two boys who had less than 4 per cent burns around their face while lighting flower pots.”

Eye injuries

K. Bhujang Shetty, Chairman of Narayana Nethralaya, said that 16 cases of eye injuries were reported in the three of the Narayana Nethralaya units.

“All the cases were minor, except for one nine-year-old boy who had a serious eye injury which could be possibly be critical,” he added.

Officials from the Dr. M.C. Modi Eye Hospital and Minto Ophthalmic Hospital reported one and three eye injuries at their hospitals respectively. Arun Samprathi, opthamologist at Samprathi Eye hospital said that only two cases of eye injuries were reported so far at his hospital.

However, he said that it was too early to compare the number of cases with last year, as the festival had just begun.

Pollution

Apart from the injuries, the air and noise pollution across the city has seen a dramatic increase, which can be attributed mainly to the bursting of the crackers.

An officer in the Karnataka State Pollution control Board stated that the second day of their reporting indicated that there was a 20 to 25 per cent increase in air pollution as compared to normal days. “A substantial increase in sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide has been reported,” he added.

He said that the noise pollution level had on an average increased by 15 to 20 per cent, when compared to normal days. “This time is particular harmful for asthma patients and animals as the air and noise pollution levels have risen significantly,” he said and added that officials are expecting the noise and air pollution levels to increase in the next two days.