To study the health impacts of vehicular pollution in Hyderabad the fifth largest city in India.
Health questionnaire survey, spirometry, Drug off-take in the ‘hotspots’ of traffic pollution in Hyderabad. Air quality data of Hyderabad city in residential and commercial areas deteriorated due to atmospheric pollution by significantly increasing vehicular numbers between 1998 & 2001. Whereas in industrial belt there was no deterioration due to strict enforcement of AQ norms among industry. Pollutants monitored were Total Suspended Particulate Matter (TSPM), Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), Sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide. Following diseases prevalence were looked at Bronchial Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Lung Cancer, Contact Dermatitis, Leukemias, Eye allergies and infections. The drug off-take was obtained from retail pharmacies and also from private practitioners located in and around 5 Kilo Meters of ‘hotspots’. Disease prevalence and drug off-take were correlated with respirable particulate matter (RSPM) by Spearman Rank Correlation method.
Cough, breathing discomfort asthma and respiratory symptoms were as high as 60 % of the subjects. Ventilatory defects were in 40% of subjects majority of subjects were in the age group of 20-50 and were working in commercial areas. Females residing in lower socioeconomic residential zones using firewood and coal as kitchen fuels had higher prevalence of respiratory problems. Women living in commercial higher socioeconomic zones using LPG fuel had a comparable prevalence probably due to vehicular pollution. Drug off-take19982001 Bronchodilators199528327160 Inhalers1048034124 Anti allergics77728142840 Antibiotics96784207640 The table shows significant increase in the disbursement of bronchodilators, anti allergics between 1998 & 2001. Injectables also registered on increase reflecting exacerbations of asthma and COPD. In the high commercial areas with higher prevalence of respiratory problems and increased drug off-take, the peak hour traffic flow (PUC) was 6000-9000 passenger vehicles per hour.
The detailed study report was submitted to cabinet subcommittee of Government of Andhrapradesh for effective legislation on strategies to improve the situation.
G. Thippanna, None.