Air pollution may hit you in car too

DECCAN CHRONICLE , Thursday, August 03, 2017
Correspondent : DONITA JOSE
Hyderabad: Thought you would be unaffected by the dust and pollution with a rolled up window and the air conditioning on in the car? Sorry, you are wrong as a new research from Duke University has pointed that when the car hits the road at rush hours, the pollution levels reach a high not just outside, but inside the car as well, that too twice the level.

The research was conducted by placing a pollution sensor within the car as well as on the road side and the results showed that particulate matter 2.5 levels were higher inside the car when the traffic was more congested.

This study can be crucial for the city, which faces traffic hiccups regularly due to damaged roads and the road development projects.

“Pollution is similar to smoking. Instead of nicotine, the person would inhale carbon monoxide, sulphur and nitrogen,” neurologist Dr Sudhir Kumar says.

“This sustained lack of clean air can have a long-term effect on the brain health. The blood vessels would shrink as they would be clogged with cholesterol, slud-ge, making it harder for oxygen to reach the bra-in. Strokes are common in smokers, but with pollution, the chances of brain stroke would be higher,” he adds.

Though all these studies are preliminary, doctors in the city say the effects of pollution can be seen on all part of the body. “Though the effects are indirect and take time to kick in, the manifestations will be more obvious in a few years,” Dr Sandeep Nayani says.

“The research is in UK and takes into account the traffic habits of a developed country. Since they stay in the car for hours, due to more sophisticated road sense, the whole activity of driving is passive,” Dr Sudhir says.

But in India, one drives with the utmost alertness, hence, the brain would stay more alert, he adds.


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