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It is dangerous to breathe in this air of Delhi, understand from these 5 questions why pollution is silent killer

New Delhi: Amidst the poison dissolving in the breath of Delhiites in the form of pollution, Dr. Randeep Guleria, former director of AIIMS, has said in an interview to our associate newspaper Times of India’s Soumitra Ghosh that pollution is such a ‘silent killer’, which is basic. Making diseases worse. He attributed the failure of the policies on pollution control to the faulty process of its formulation. Significantly, Dr. Guleria is the head of the Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders in AIIMS. Dr. Randeep Guleria Highlights of the conversation:

Question 1: How has the air pollution crisis in Delhi affected our lives?

answer: We are looking at two things. First- the immediate impact on children and the elderly, increasing the frequency of their visits to the hospital. Also, I know people who currently leave Delhi and move to other parts of the country, such as South India, because the air quality there is better. Statistics show that heart attacks increase during this time of the year because PM 2.5 and other very fine particulate matter cause inflammation of the blood vessels.

Question 2: What are the far-reaching consequences of this serious air pollution?


answer:Our studies show that the AQI remains in the poor, very poor or severe category if one year of covid is excluded. Therefore, people living in the northern plains of the country are constantly breathing such air, which starts affecting their overall health. Here the risk of heart attack and chronic respiratory diseases is high. At the same time, it retards the development of lungs (lungs) in children. Lungs develop until the age of 20, but if you continue to breathe bad air, the capacity of the lungs is not as good as it should be. Studies have shown that the lung capacity of the children of Delhi has decreased as compared to the children of South India. There are studies that say that living in Delhi increases the risk of heart diseases and high cholesterol. Earlier, the focus of the effect of pollution was only on the heart and lungs, but now it has also been proved that the particles of pollution mix in our blood and reach other parts of the body, causing stroke, dementia and other diseases.

Question 3: So, have we reached the stage where we can directly link pollution to deaths?


answer: Air pollution is a ‘silent killer’… We can examine other factors of death, but not pollution. Pollution worsens the condition of major diseases. If you already have a problem related to the respiratory system and you are a victim of pollution, then the problem related to breathing can deepen. It can also lead to lung cancer and heart attack, but the relationship between them needs to be tested.

Question 4: Over the years, a lot has been said about policies and measures to solve the problem of pollution, but so far no positive result has come. Why do you think these policies did not succeed?


Answer: We need to take all the stakeholders together. We have to make a strategy by setting a target, what are the concerns of the people. Second, work should be done on a permanent solution that takes care of all sectors and also understands the issues of the plains of North India. It is a landlocked area, so whenever air pollution is severe, smog settles at ground level. Unlike the coastal areas, a lot depends on the weather in this region, so we have to work on it very vigorously. Apart from this, it is necessary to follow up the plans so that if one plan does not work, we find alternative avenues.

Question 5: What are your views on the steps taken by the Delhi government for pollution control, such as smog towers, water sprinkling, ban on vehicular movement, etc.?


answer: We need data to find out how effective these measures are, as some of them may not be effective. Whether it is an immediate solution or a long term one… it needs to be analyzed whether they are working and whether they are sustainable and less expensive? Only then these should be implemented, otherwise other options should be tried.



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