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The Link Between Pollution And COPD
Feb 2019
Dr. Rakesh Chawla
Sr Consultant, Respiratory Medicine, Saroj Super Speciality Hospital, New Delhi

With a rapid rise in urbanization, more and more people across the world are getting inclined towards comfortable living. Urbanization and modernization is making our lives easy, but at the same time, it is affecting our health the most. On the other hand, the air that we inhale is loaded with a deposit of toxins and gases to the extent that it is putting us at a risk of developing serious health conditions, most of which are issues of the respiratory  tract. This eventually results in the rise of asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Studies have revealed that the urban air that we breathe is equal to smoking more than 40 cigarettes each
day. According to the WHO estimates,there are about 80 million people fighting against moderate to severe COPD.

It is the exposure to such microparticles emitted from vehicles, industrial sites, and construction sites, which is a mixture of combustion gases and fine particles of organic compounds that resulting in obstructive airway diseases like COPD. When  these particles enter our respiratory tracts, they activate an inflammatory cascade that severely damages our lungs.

Apart from causing lung infections and breathing issues, COPD can also give rise to numerous heart ailments and can result in stroke. Moreover, it can also affect multiple organs including bones to a large extent.