House pollution fatal to newborns, says ICMR study | Deccan Chronicle
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House pollution fatal to newborns, says ICMR study

DC | Pramila Krishnan | 15th Feb 2013

New Delhi: With global health experts stating that millions died in India every year due to in-house air pollution, the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) has launched a first of its kind study on impacts of air pollution on newborns in Tamil Nadu.

The five-year study was started in 2011 to check the impact right from pregnancy and 1,200 pregnant women in Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur are being tested at the Sri Ramac­handra Medical College Hospital (SRMC) in Chennai to note the symptoms and effects of in-house air pollution.

Speaking to this newspaper, Dr Kalpana Balak­rishnan, director, ICMR — Center for Advanced Research on Enviro­nmental Health in SRMC, said low birth weight; respiratory illnesses were the major symptoms being studied. “Through this study, we can identify how air pollution affects healthy adults and children by long exposure. Children and mothers develop acute respiratory illnesses and other pulmonary diseases because of in-house air pollution,” she said.

Pointing out that smoke choolas killed many Indians, Dr Kalpana said, “In-house air pollutants are more toxic than the thick chemical smoke in the outside environment. The most common fuel used for cooking and heating is wood and other solid biomass fuels such as charcoal, dung, agricultural residues and dry leaves. Long-time exposure to chemical released from these solid fuels would aggravate the respiratory diseases and result in death.”

She stressed that usage of clean fuel at home was the immediate solution to cut down deaths. “Providing LPG and other clean fuel would be primary preventive measures to control the death toll. Other suggestions like increase in mass transport systems and reducing motor vehicle population come much later,” she said, adding that next to high blood pressure, household air pollution was the leading factor for deaths in India.

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3
kvenkataramam's picture
by kvenkataramam (not verified) on
ICMR should first study the impact of air pollution on the roads in cities/towns/villages on pregnant women and also children .
Bir Singh Yadav's picture
by Bir Singh Yadav (not verified) on
It's killing elderly as well. Most modern households are sick houses with poor ventilation. thanks to germ fixation of medicos, patients continue living in oxygen starved places.
karthik cool's picture
by karthik cool (not verified) on
yeah exactly ur right..it is killing elder people also.But i sincerely congrats the ICMR for revealing this study which atleast reaches to some extent and may save new lives..

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