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Pollution in Kolkata may cause common diseases

Doctors speak at event organised at Medica Superspecialty Hospital on the occasion of World Health Day

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 07.04.22, 06:59 AM
(From left) Harsh Dhar, Nandini Biswas, Dilip Kumar and Aviral Roy at the the discussion on Wednesday

(From left) Harsh Dhar, Nandini Biswas, Dilip Kumar and Aviral Roy at the the discussion on Wednesday

Many common diseases — a blockage in the artery or a stomach upset — could be caused by environmental pollution, some doctors in the city said on Wednesday.

Doctors spoke at an event organised at Medica Superspecialty Hospital on the occasion of World Health Day.

They discussed — the impact of pollution on health —where several diseases that could be caused directly or indirectly by environmental pollution.

Cardiovascular diseases

Doctors said there is evidence to suggest that air pollution has an impact on heart ailments.“Small particulates enter our body and cause inflammation of the arterial walls. This causes thrombosis and dysfunction of the heart,” said cardiologist Dilip Kumar.

Skin disease

An oncologist, speaking at the event, said pollution from heavy metals could cause cancer.

“It is a common thing in the Arctic and the Antarctic where the Ozone layer has depleted and people there are directly affected by the ultra violet radiations. The percentage of skin cancer cases is very high,” said oncologist and head and neck surgeon Harsh Dhar.

Dhar also spoke about the side effects of working in metal industries and the pollution caused by metals

like asbestos, nickel and zinc. “It is a known fact that people who work in industries dealing with heavy metals are prone to cancer...,” he

said.

Stomach bugs

Diarrhoea, cholera or other bacterial infection in the stomach could be caused by water pollution, according to a doctor.

“Water pollution is the most common cause behind communicable diseases like diarrhea or cholera. The water may not necessarily be polluted by chemicals. But slight contamination with sewage water makes it unfit for consumption,” said Aviral Roy, internal medicine and critical care specialist.

Roy said spraying pesticides on water and plants often lead to stomach disorders.

Respiratory disease

The most significant and known impact on human health is air pollution.

“Vehicular pollution, smoke, smog, pollution along the roadside eateries are some of the forms of air pollution that directly impact the lungs. We often come across cases of lung cancer where the patient is not a smoker,” said Nandini Biswas, a respiratory medicine specialist.

Last updated on 07.04.22, 06:59 AM
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