Air pollution has been commonly perceived as an urban problem associated with motor vehicles and industries, and rural areas are largely perceived as free from air pollution.
It is now recognised that the health burden due to exposure from pollutants released during the combustion of biomass fuels in rural areas equals or even exceeds the burden contributed by urban outdoor exposures.
Because of the large contact area between the surface of the respiratory system and the environment, air quality directly affects lung health resulting in variety of respiratory diseases.
Aims & Objectives
To compare the respiratory symptoms and abnormal lung functions between the urban street dwellers exposed to air pollution and rural population exposed to biomass pollution
To spread awareness about the harmful effects and early warning signs of pollution in the community
To spread awareness about the preventive measures against pollution.
To refer people with abnormal lung functions for medical check up at the nearest health facility.
Materials and Methods
This survey is cross sectional and included urban street dwellers in Delhi and rural population in the villages of Haryana using biomass fuel for cooking.
Demographic profile was recorded and information was collected using MRC 1986 questionnaire on the occurrence of respiratory symptoms.
Screening PFT was done using a vitalograph COPD6 spirometer to record FEV1, FVC and FEV1%.
Urban people n= 1078 including urban males n= 500 (46.38%) & urban females n = 578 (53.62%)
Rural people n= 1066 including rural males n = 554 (51.97%) & rural females 512 (58.03%).
Cough was the commonest symptom in both the groups reported by 25.88% of urban subjects and 27.38% by the rural subjects.
Shortness of breath was the second commonest symptom reported by 22.82% and 14.75% of urban and rural subjects respectively.
These two symptoms were significantly higher amongst rural females as compared to urban females reported as 28.57% vs 23.18% (p Value <0.022) and 25.39% vs 20.93% (p Value < 0.040).
Urban males had significantly higher symptoms of phlegm and wheezing as compared to rural males reported as 10.08% vs 6.14% (p Value <0.003) and 14.40% vs 11.01% (p Value < 0.049)
Abnormal PFT readings were observed in 26.71% of all the urban subjects and 27.01% of all the rural subjects which was similar in both the groups.
The obstructive pattern was significantly higher in rural females as compared to urban females reported as 21.88% vs 17.82% (p Value < 0.046) and also as compared to rural males reported as 21.88% vs 17.51% (p Value < 0.032)
Abnormal PFT were observed in 29.51% in urban children and in 25.58% in rural children. The obstructive pattern was significantly higher in urban children as compared to rural children reported as 25.11% vs 18.12% (p Value < 0.021)
The study suggests that villagers exposed to biomass smoke have similar prevalence of respiratory symptoms and abnormal PFTs to the urban dwellers who are exposed to higher ambient air pollution.
More than 25% people are affected with respiratory disorders both in urban and rural areas due to air and biomass pollution which is extremely alarming.
Pollution caused by burning of Biomass Fuel:
Lung Function Test to assess effect of biomass air pollution:
Campaign Against Biomass Burning:
STUDY IN URBAN AREAS
Lung Function Testing in urban slum dwellers:
Campaign Against Air Pollution :
PAPER PRESENTATION AT 51st ICAAICON :
CERTIFICATES OF APPRECIATION:
Action For Child Relief
We are a registered Non-Government Organization (NGO) in Delhi.
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