Concerned over the rising pollution levels in the city, Doctors for Clean Air- Tamil Nadu (DCA- T.N.) and Healthy Energy Initiative on Saturday urged the Central government to include Chennai in the National Clean Air Programme.
Vishvaja Sambath, a dentist and a public health expert, said a study conducted between May and July, in 15 locations across the city, not only showed high PM2.5 levels, but also the presence of heavy metals, including manganese, nickel and lead, in the ambient air. “Air pollution is a year-round phenomenon in the city and needs to be addressed,” she said.
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G. Chandrasekar, a general surgeon, said during camps conducted in areas such as Sepakkam and Kuruvimedu in north Chennai, doctors found that many children and elders, above the age of 65, had respiratory problems. “Due to inhaling particulate matters, their lung capacity had reduced and they had breathing difficulties,” he said. R. Kannan, a gastroenterologist, said as doctors, they could only suggest what individuals can do. “If the government steps in, it would help the population at large. Air purifiers are available in the market and those going out can wear them,” he said.