Weak in the lungs
Source: Pune Mirror
2 November 2011
Study of 377 personnel has revealed that 19 per cent of them have a weak respiratory organ, with efficiency of less than 75 per cent. Lung efficiency exceeding 80 per cent is considered healthy
The men manning our mean streets may be tough, but their Achilles’ heel is weak lungs. And this painful fact was found by a recent study conducted together by health website aarogya.com, doctors from Universal Health Foundation (UHF) and pharmaceutical giant Cipla. The research – using spirometry tests – was conducted on 377 policemen from 29 traffic divisions in the city from October 19 to 26.
The experts pointed out that the traffic policemen have to endure the elements and pollution while trying to ensure that the traffic remains smooth. According to them, long working hours amid smoke-emitting vehicles results in weakening of the lungs. And the tests proved them right with results showing that 19 per cent of the traffic cops suffering from weak lungs.
Dr Vijay Warad of UHF said,” Tests were carried out on 377 policemen and 72 of them were found to be having weak lungs. These policemen were chosen from 29 traffic divisions in the city. These traffic divisions are: Khadki, Chatuhshrungi, Sangvi, Hinjewadi, Vishrambaug, Khadak, Samarth, Faraskhana, Swargate, Sahakar Nagar, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Dattawadi, Wanowrie, Kondhwa, Hadapsar, Lashkar, Bund Garden, Vimantal, Yerwada, Vishrantwadi, Koregaon Park, Pimpri, Chinchwad, Bhosari, Nigdi, Deccan, Shivajinagar, Kothrud and Warje. These 72 men have lung efficiency of less than 75 per cent. Doctors say lung efficiency above 80 per cent is considered healthy.
Dr Tushar Sampat of aarogya.com said, ” Rising pollution levels is a major cause; but unhealthy lifestyle is also a contributing factor. The threat is more for traffic police and others who spend much time at busy traffic junctions. Those found having low lung efficiency can suffer from respiratory diseases. Even though others have registered more efficiency, continuous exposure to pollution makes them susceptible to problems such as irritation in the passageway from where the air passes.”
Talking about the use of masks, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Manoj Patil said, ” Despite the use of masks, the risk of lung damage continues to be high. This is due to carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants emitted by vehicles, which remain a major threat to public health. Even though we have provided our men with masks, they do not use it. They have to speak frequently on walkie-talkies and hence they do not use the masks. Because of this problem, we have reduced their duty hours from 12 to 9 hours.”
WHAT ARE SPIROMETRY TESTS?
Spirometry (meaning the measuring of breath) is the most common of the Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs), measuring lung function, specifically the measurement of the amount (volume) and/or speed (flow) of air that can be inhaled and exhaled. Spirometry is an important tool used for generating pneumotachographs which are helpful in assessing conditions such as asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, and COPD. Only those having efficiency level above 80 per cent are considered healthy.