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Increasing air pollution causing respiratory ailments

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Increasing levels of air pollution have led to an increase in reports of respiratory problems in the national Capital.

The particulate matter (PM) ranging from 2.5 to 10 in Delhi is higher than the levels that World Health Organisation considers safe.

Prof Randeep Guleria, Head, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, AIIMS said, "Delhiites are facing breathing problems they never had and say their problem is now prolonged.

"There has been almost a 15-20 per cent rise in complaints of respiratory ailments this season. Patients who have an underlined chronic respiratory disease like Asthama and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), when they inhale higher level of air pollutants, it leads to worsening of their respiratory status with coughing, breathlesness and many of them have to either come to the emergency or need to increase their medication," Guleria said.

Individuals who are in extremes of age, like children and elderly, are more prone to the affects of air pollution, said Guleria.

According to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, no major changes were observed in data in the annual concentration of PM 2.5 from 2011-2013.

"In different stations the values ranged from 120 to 174 microgram per cubic metre (m/cum) and so the average value for Delhi is 150 m/cum. The concentration exceeds the national standards as well as the WHO guidelines," said an official from DPCC.

First Published: Fri, February 21 2014. 17:54 IST