Srinagar: Around 10,000 deaths are attributed to air pollution in J&K and Srinagar City has the highest incidence of lung cancer in India, Director Sher i Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) and ex-officio secretary to the government Dr Parvaiz Koul said on Saturday.
He said J&K has a huge burden of chronic lung diseases and air pollution is a major risk factor for these diseases.
Dr Koul called for an urgent need to act and control air pollution by countering measures and initiatives like afforestation of Hari Parbat and Zabarwan hills in Srinagar so as to reduce the air pollution.
He was speaking at the state chapter launch of Doctors for Clean Air and Climate Action at SKIMS.
The Department of Pulmonary Medicine SKIMS in association with Lung Care Foundation and Doctors for Clean Air and Climate Action have decided to work towards reducing air pollution in Jammu and Kashmir.
Prof. (Dr.) Arvind Kumar, Founder Trustee Lung Care Foundation andChairman - Institute of Chest Surgery, Medanta, Gurugram gave a detailed presentation on “Understanding air pollution and its health ill effects”.
He said air pollution has become a national health issue that has hazardous effects on the health of people damaging lungs and other vital organs including brain, heart etc.
He termed awareness as the first step to create awakening leading to action and solution. He said clean Air will lead to a better quality of life and enhance the life expectancy by 9 to 10 years as shown by various studies.
Earlier in his detailed presentation on “Air Pollution And Lung Disease; Epidemiological Evidence And Clinical Implication” Dr Koul underscored the importance of intervention at individual and community level. “We should rethink land use and there should be proper transportation planning to reduce vehicular traffic, besides other practical viable solutions are needed,” he said, adding, the state of air quality in the city and the state has been a cause of concern.
The SKIMS Director said that yearly around 10 thousand deaths are attributed to particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5) exposure and there is a need to control it by countering it.
He said the increasing number of vehicles, construction sites, brick kilns, cement factories which emit pollutants and significantly pollute our air and affect health makes air pollution a health issue.
DrFarooq A. Lone, Professor Environmental Studies SKAUST, said biomass burning in Kashmir is a main source of air pollution besides other sources like unregulated establishment of cement factories, brick kilns and overload of vehicular traffic within cities.