Docs: Pollution may impact brain growth in healthy kids

Delhi: 7 Nov, 2021 (Times of India)


New Delhi: The polluted air is not only a risk to people with respiratory diseases. A paediatrician has cautioned that children with no history of such conditions were prone to be adversely affected by the bad air.

Dr Dhiren Gupta of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital’s paediatrics department said on Saturday that air pollution — at the ‘severe’ level since Diwali — is affecting the city’s children. “Yes, pollution is affecting kids who are predisposed to asthmatic attacks, but we are also seeing children who are absolutely normal facing respiratory problems,” Gupta said. “They are also suffering from irritation in the eyes. Pollution also causes clouding of the brain. Babies and children become irritable because of the pollution.”

The paediatrician said that three children had been admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital with severe asthma. “In past 10-15 days, we have seen a sudden rise in the exaggeration of symptoms in those who are asthmatic and allergic,” Gupta said.

Dr Ambuj Roy, professor of cardiology at AIIMS, reiterated that the problem of air pollution was a much bigger threat today than Covid-19. “Elderly people, patients with lung and heart problems, those who have recovered from Covid and pregnant women are susceptible to problems when the air quality is so poor,” Roy said.

The medical experts are emphatic that everyone suffers from air pollution. People are complaining of headaches and difficulties in breathing. “Young children are very vulnerable & this pollution can affect their brain development. Hospital is full of patients. So this is a difficult phase for us. Every year, we face this problem but failed to address or correct it,” tweeted Dr Naresh Trehan, chairman and managing director, Medanta, Gurgaon.

Forecasting agencies said the air quality was unlikely to improve till Sunday evening. On Saturday, SAFAR’s PM 2.5 reading was 436 micrograms per cubic metre against the safe level of 60. ANI