Delhi

‘Impact of air pollution is like smoking 5-7 cigarettes a day’

The harmful impact of air pollution suffered by everyone in the country, including newborns, is equivalent to smoking five to seven cigarettes a day on an average, said Harsh Vardhan Puri, consultant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

He was speaking at a seminar on air pollution organised by NGO Chintan on Thursday.

“Millions of people live with lung function decrements, inflammation and cardiac related issues in India and thousands of people die due to air pollution every year,” said Mr. Puri

He pointed out that out of the patients who came for treatment at the hospital, in 1988, only 10% of lung cancer patients were non-smokers, but in 2018, 50% were non-smokers. He also said that people are turning obese due to pollution.

“The laws dealing with air pollution are in place for long, but we have failed miserably in implementing it. Even Supreme Court monitoring has not helped much. While speaking about the air pollution, most of the time we are shifting the problem outside Delhi-NCR rather than dealing with it completely,” said Rahul Choudhary, an environmental lawyer.

“Air pollution is not restricted to Delhi, winters, or even cities and has created high health impacts. The pollution control boards are understaffed and there is no proper implementation of the existing plan,” said Santosh Harish, fellow at the Centre for Policy Research.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 3:01:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/impact-of-air-pollution-is-like-smoking-5-7-cigarettes-a-day/article28986291.ece

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