Dr Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Head of Pulmonology Department at Safdarjung Hospital said that due to the increase in the level of PM 2.5, there is a risk of skin and heart-related diseases and it also has a bad effect on the lower respiratory system. Not only this, but diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and constant headaches can also occur
With the Air Quality Index (AQI) in several parts of Delhi-NCR breaching the’severe’ category, doctors and health experts said that Delhi has taken the shape of a gas chamber with a thick layer of smog covering the city, adding that this poor air quality affects the mental development of children.
The health experts of Safdarjung Hospital, one of the biggest hospitals in Delhi, said that for healthy lungs, it is necessary that the AQI remain below 60.
Voicing concerns over the declining air quality in the national capital, Dr Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Head of Pulmonology Department at Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi, said, “The people living in Delhi have to breathe in the air quality, which has reached a very poor category, which may cause serious diseases.”
The doctor said that for the better health of the people, AQI should be less than 60 because, through AQI PM 2.5 and PM 10, there are many such particles that reach the lungs inside our body through breathing, which causes various respiratory-related problems. The risk of serious diseases and even lung cancer increases.
“And it is a matter of concern that at present the air quality index in Delhi has reached close to 500, while in many areas it has even crossed 500,” Dr. Gupta added.
Along with this, the doctor said that pollution is affecting not only the lungs but also our entire body and is affecting people of every age.
Dr Gupta said that due to the increase in the level of PM 2.5, there is a risk of skin and heart-related diseases and it also has a bad effect on the lower respiratory system. Not only this, but diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and constant headaches can also occur.
“In a recent study conducted on children, it has been shown that the Air Quality Index affects the mental development of children. As the AQI increases, the mental strength of children starts decreasing,” Dr. Gupta said.
He further stated that this pollution is rampant in Delhi and that many types of gases are also present in it, including nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, which are more dangerous for those people who are already suffering from some serious disease. The doctor stated that children and pregnant women exposed to air pollution are at a higher risk.
The overall air quality in Delhi continued to remain in the’severe’ category for the fourth straight day on Sunday morning, as per the SAFAR-India. At Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3), the AQI was recorded at 571 on Saturday.
Delhi had the highest PM (Particulate Matter) 2.5 levels in the country in the month of October and has been experiencing a consistent upward trend since 2021, according to the Respirer Report.
Exposure to polluted air is associated with an increased risk of type-2 diabetes, according to a first study of its kind in India published in the BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care journal.
The study conducted in Delhi and Chennai found that inhaling air with high amounts of fine pollution particles (PM2.5) — 30 times thinner than a strand of hair — led to high blood sugar levels and increased type-2 diabetes incidence. Exposure to fine particulate matter has been associated with several cardiovascular and cardiometabolic diseases, the researchers said.
However, such evidence mostly originates from low-pollution settings or cross-sectional studies, thus necessitating evidence from regions with high air pollution levels, such as India, where the burden of non-communicable diseases is high, they said.