Business News/ News / India/  Delhi's poor air quality, heatwave hurt health of outdoor workers: What latest study says
BackBack

Delhi's poor air quality, heatwave hurt health of outdoor workers: What latest study says

The latest Air Quality Life Index report released in June 2022 said that toxic air pollution in Delhi cuts people’s lives short by roughly 10 years, making it one of the biggest threats to human health

Notably, 44% of auto-rickshaw drivers reported symptoms such as redness of the eye, the highest incidence of vision related symptomsPremium
Notably, 44% of auto-rickshaw drivers reported symptoms such as redness of the eye, the highest incidence of vision related symptoms

A new study led by scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology Tirupati has found that prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures witnessed in Delhi and high pollution levels have severely impacted the health of people. 

The latest study has revealed that those who work outdoors for long periods in Delhi complained of health complications, including breathing difficulties or acute lung function impairment, irregular heartbeat and chest discomfort, back, shoulder, and joint pains, eye redness and irritation, skin rashes, headaches, and overall weakness, as per Hindustan Times report.

Co-author Suresh Jain, professor at IIT Tirupati said, “over the years, air pollution in Delhi has become a significant concern. The city’s geographical location renders it particularly vulnerable to air pollution events such as smog, as well as harsh weather conditions in both summer and winter. Outdoor workers are among the hardest hit in such scenarios."

The health impact assessment of Delhi’s outdoor workers exposed to air pollution and extreme weather events: an integrated epidemiology approach released on Saturday shared that researchers surveyed 283 people for the study, which included auto-rickshaw drivers, street vendors and sweepers, who have to spend the most part of their day outdoors and are constantly exposed to pollution, Jain said. 

Additionally, the study took into account the impact of factors such as age and smoking on lung impairment among the participants so that the actual impacts of high pollution and extreme weather conditions can be analysed better. As much as 47% of the auto-rickshaw drivers, 47% of street vendors and 48% of sweepers reported major health impacts of prolonged exposure to outdoor pollution levels, the study found. 

Notably, 44% of auto-rickshaw drivers reported symptoms such as redness of the eye, the highest incidence of vision related symptoms and 36% mentioned eye irritation, while 43% of street vendors reported headaches. This could be attributed to constant exposure to vehicular pollution, the researchers said.

As per the lung function tests conducted during the study revealed that the majority of respondents - 39% sweepers, 33% vehicle drivers and 27% street vendors - had limited lung function. Sweepers had a higher rate of lung impairment than the other occupational groups due to the nature of their work, which involved frequent exposure to dust and particulate matter, Jain explained. 

“Dust inhalation during sweeping caused immediate lung function impairment and raised the risk of pulmonary disease progression. The risk increased as the period of exposure increased," he said. 

The findings of the study are important because Delhi is known to record high pollution levels, which worsens during the winter time when the air quality index in the national capital peaks several times higher than the healthy limit, the report said.

The latest Air Quality Life Index report released in June 2022 said that toxic air pollution in Delhi cuts people’s lives short by roughly 10 years, making it India’s biggest threat to human health.

 

 

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 26 Jun 2022, 06:23 AM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App