chronic bronchitis caused by air pollution affects 24,000 adults and 2.2 lakh children each year, reveals a study by the Nagpur-based National Environment Engineering Research Institute (neeri). The neeri study states that Mumbai suffers from an annual loss of 20 million workdays because of pollution, which is equivalent to nine lakh citizens of Mumbai suffering from asthma every year. "The period between December 25 and January 26 every year witnesses maximum cases of respiratory tract infection," says R H Trivedi, a physician from Mumbai.
There is a three-fold increase in respiratory ailments during winter as cold air prevents pollution from rising up and lethal gases get trapped in smog, states S R Kamat, a specialist in chest diseases. Extended vigilance by pollution control authorities, a greater check on polluting vehicles and a ban on incineration of garbage by the civic authorities can bring down the number of respiratory ailment cases, believes Ashok Mahashur, of Mumbai-based kem hospital.
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