BENGALURU: Diwali is over but pollution still hangs in the air. It takes months for the noxious gases to dissipate. A weekend of bursting crackers has released chemicals like sulphur monoxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, manganese and cadmium.
These gases worsen the condition of people with respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Express spoke to a few pulmonologists in the city to help people guard against breathing problems that generally spiral a week or 10 days after Diwali.
The streets still haven’t been cleaned of cracker waste and asthma patients are most vulnerable as fine particulate matter hangs in the air. Dr Murali Mohan, pulmonologist at Narayana Health, said, “Exposure to sulphur dioxide worsens asthma, COPD and lung diseases.
Most other diseases also worsen with air population. Close the windows of your house when it’s windy. Get the residue cleaned because every time the wind blows it may bring with it cracker residue. A survey done by CRS Pune showed that the percentage of these gases is several times higher post Diwali.”
Mohan said NH receives 50-60 in-patients per day, which increases to 70 to 80 post Diwali.
Dr Shashidar Buggi, director, Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases, said, “Sulphur dioxide does have an adverse effect on asthma, wheezing and bronchitis patients. They know they have to wear protective gear like masks while going out. They must take medication without fail as they will be more vulnerable after Diwali to breathing problems. However, the number of in-patients has remained the same at our hospital as most cases go to physicians. It also may be because cracker sales have gone down and people are indeed becoming aware.”