Published On: Tue, Apr 26th, 2016

Children in Delhi facing breathing difficulties: Govt

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Children in Delhi were facing breathing difficulties due to rise in air pollution, Rajya Sabha was told today.

“Yes. The children of Delhi are facing breathing difficulties on account of a high rise in air pollution.

“In this regard, a study on ambient air quality respiratory symptoms and lung function of children of Delhi was conducted by Chittranjan National Cancer Institute in Kolkata under Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) during March 2003-August 2005,” Minister of State for Health Shripad Yesso Naik said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

He said “the study conducted on 11,628 children of Delhi showed that compared to control groups, Delhi’s children had 1.80 times more Upper Respiratory symptoms (sinusitis, running or stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat and common cold with fever)…”

“…and two times more lower respiratory symptoms (frequent dry cough, sputum producing cough, wheezing breath, breathlessness on exertion and disturbed sleep) suggesting higher prevalence of underlying respiratory diseases,” Naik said.

“A reduction of lung function 43.5 per cent in school children of Delhi compared with 27.7 per cent in control groups was seen, which was more prevalent in girls,” Naik said.

Control group denotes (in an experiment or clinical trial) a group of subjects closely resembling the treatment group in many demographic variables but not receiving the active medication or factor under study and thereby serving as a comparison group when treatment results are evaluated.

He said that the government has evolved an action plan to improve air quality in Delhi and NCR by taking steps, including control on vehicular emissions, control of road dust, re-suspension of dust, control of air pollution from biomass burning, control on industrial air pollution and control of air pollution from construction and demolition activities.

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