Pune: Monsoon shows an increase in the cases of asthma and other respiratory ailments according to city based doctors even though the city has recorded the lowest emission inventory levels in terms of air pollution this month. The doctors say that the main reason for this is the increase in indoor pollution levels.
"The outdoor pollution of the city is well under permissible limits, even in the highly polluted zones of Bhosari and Shivaji Nagar. Rains dissolve the particles and acid in the atmosphere reducing the pollution levels," said Gufran Beig, Chief Project Scientist, SAFAR, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM).
During the monsoons there is high moisture level in the air forming fungus on walls, dampness and dust accumulation. "In monsoons, doors and windows are kept close, people also avoid using mechanical ventilation equipments due to cold. No ventilation leads to no air circulation, which in turn increases accumulation of pollutants indoors," added Beig.
Even if the outdoor environment has become pleasant, city based general physicians and pulmonologist say that one should breathe carefully indoors as it may trigger respiratory ailments and allergies. Avinash Bondhwe, practicing as a general physician said, "Monsoon is the peak time for respiratory ailments. Both existing asthma cases and fresh cases increase. In a week I have around 20 - 25 cases of asthma, out of which 10 are new."
While it is not just the asthma patients to get affected by indoor pollutants, senior citzens also get affected. Pulmonolgist Himanshu Pophale added, "As rains start, I get 2 to 3 patients a day suffering from Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). What happens is the older age group easily get allergic to indoor pollutants like incense stick smoke, fungus, dust particles and damp atmosphere."
Environmentalists say that the indoor pollution is rising and causing health scare for people. Small steps need to be taken to keep away from the monsoon effect of indoor pollution. "People susceptible to respiratory ailments should keep away from bad air which is indoor or outdoor and eat a healthy diet to build up immunity. The respiratory ailment in monsoon do not take time to spread as they are bacterial diseases," added D Duggal, pulmonologist at Koregaon Park.
Keep your home pollution free
- Keep doors and windows open as much as possible
- Use either natural or mechanical air ventilation system at home
- Don't keep damp clothes inside your house, it may increase the moisture
- Avoid using incense sticks, mosquito repellents, etc
- Minimize use of air fresheners, deodorants and other chemical sprays
- Plant house plants if you can