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December 6, 2018

RTO, APD paper reveals impact of air pollution on health of Mangaluru street vendors

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Mangaluru, Dec 6: In a bid to understand how pollution is affecting people’s health on a daily basis, Mangaluru’s Regional transport Office (RTO) in association with the Anti-Pollution Drive Foundation (APD) has released a paper revealing the ‘impact of air pollution on the health of outdoor workers’ at a unique event in the coastal city. The paper is based on the results of a series of Pulmonary Function Tests (PFT) conducted under APD’s ‘Shuddha Gaali’ project. This was the second phase to their previous assessment of traffic policemen and auto rickshaw drivers in Mangaluru.

Addressing the gathering at the programme held as a part of Air Pollution Awareness Month at the RTO on Tuesday, 4th December Karnataka State Pollution Control Board Senior Scientific Officer Jayaprakash Nayak said that it is the right time to instil the responsibility of environment conservation within us before it is too late. “Smoking vehicles like buses and auto rickshaws are the main reasons behind air pollution. Emission test centres must be more prudent with their approach towards such vehicles and restrict issuing emission test certificates to polluting vehicles if they do not pass the test,” he said.

Asserting the importance of each tree in the life span of a human being he said that each individual adult needs three cylinders of oxygen every day while a single cylinder of oxygen costs about Rs. 2500. “After doing the math, it is concluded that a person would need a minimum of Rs.7.5 crores worth of oxygen in their entire lifetime. A single tree can cater to the oxygen needs of hundreds of people. We as responsible citizens of this city must grow trees and reduce non bio-degradable wastes as much as possible”

Speaking on behalf of APD, K V Raman said, “Anti-Pollution Drive is doing every bit possible for us to have a safer environment with ambient air to breathe in. We should all take responsibility for our actions and join hands with them to form a better future for all of us”

Regional Transport Office Assistant Mr. Gangadhara warned about health hazards Mangaloreans are experiencing due to air pollution and emphasized people to take up healthy conveyance habits and reduce dependency on personalized vehicles for travel. Road Transport Office In-charge and coordinator of the event John Misquith and environmentalist Madhav Ullal were also present on the dais.

Speaking about planting trees to bring down the pollution level in Mangalore, Mr. Ullal said that given a chance to plant trees around Mangaluru, he will “definitely plant more trees and take responsibility for their growth”.

“Pulmonary Function Test Results show 35% have restrictive lung capacity.”

As part of the drive, a study was conducted on the impact of vehicular air pollution on outdoor workers such as street vendors, KSRTC bus drivers and city bus drivers. Pulmonary Function Test was done on 174 outdoor workers and the test results were announced at the programme. The report stated that 104 candidates (59.7%) showed normal health. However, 61 (35%) of them showed to be restrictive; 51 of the restrictive cases were non-smokers. A total of 9 candidates (3.4%) showed to be obstructive out of which 4 were smokers.

Dr. Irfan Kandal, a city based Pulmonologist said that this was a preliminary study and suggested DLCO (Diffusion Lung Capacity for Carbon Monoxide) and Chest Radiography (Chest X-Ray and CT Thorax) to conclude further results.

Commenting on the results of the PFT, APD Chief Abdullah A Rehman said, “Smoke emitting vehicles are a nuisance to society, public health and the economic profile of cities. Stringent action must be taken by Government to monitor emissions and tighten the norms thereby ensuring strict adherence to emission laws”.

He concluded by saying, “The Government must conduct more tests like these so as to get a better idea of air pollution on a larger scale. APD will always stand in support the Government to conduct the tests.”

RTO, APD paper reveals impact of air pollution on health of Mangaluru street vendors

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