BHOPAL: A brief dry spell has turned the city roads dusty causing respiratory issues. Two-wheeler riders, pedestrians, and street vendors are among the worst sufferers. Exposure to dusty air may lead to cardiovascular, asthma and respiratory complications.
Road dust consists of solid particles that are generated by any mechanical processing of materials, including crushing, grinding, rapid impact, handling, detonation, and decrepitation of organic and inorganic materials such as rock, ore, and metal.
As per experts, road dust contains insoluble lead compounds which causes respiratory tract inflammation, and this could lead to respiratory tract cancer. Lead is known to be responsible for deficits in neurobehavioral and cognitive development in childhood. Reports have also found lead exposure to result in dysfunction of the reproductive system, as well as microcytic anemia resulting in conditions such as hypertension and chronic renal failure.
Presence of certain elements in road dust, such as aluminum and silicon, could leave a fatal impact. Elements like aluminum and silicon were associated with low birth weight (LBW). They suggested that elemental carbon and zinc from motor vehicle emissions and vanadium and nickel from gasoline burning could also be associated with LBW.
Chromium is known to be carcinogenic. In human subjects, chromium has been found to cause allergic reactions and respiratory distress after short-term exposure. Long-term exposure to chromium has been proven to be associated with lung cancer.
Hamidia Hospital medical superintendent Dr Lokendra Dave, who also heads pulmonary medicines, said, “People exposed to dust complain of allergy in eyes, nose and neck. It also causes infection in lungs. Traders who run their shops or business on roadside and dusty areas are at higher risk of heart attack.”
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