Effects of industrial air pollution on lung functions of primary school children in Himachal Pradesh

Deepesh Barall, Salig R. Mazta, Rashmi Kashyap, Prince Goyel


Background: Industrial air pollution is one of the most evident environmental problems experienced by all. Air pollution leading to respiratory illnesses is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality with children more susceptible to its effects. Spirometry can be used to estimate their lung function and aid in the diagnosis of certain respiratory disorders in children.

Methods: Cross sectional assessment of the lung functions of the primary school children using spirometer was done in the severely polluted industrial area. Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and peak expiratory flow (PEFR) for each child was measured after their anthropometric measurement.

Results: Emission records for the year 2017-18 showed respirable suspended particulate matters (RSPM) level at as high as 286.3 ug/m3. We analyzed 464 spirometry results with equal number from industrial and non-industrial area. We observed that the Industrial areas had the significantly higher number of children with abnormal levels of all observed spirometry parameters except for FVC. Obstructive pattern of spirometry in the industrial area was significantly higher (odds ratio of 4.00, 95%, CI 1.78-8.95, p<0.05) than children in non-industrial area.

Conclusions: It was concluded with the estimated overall distribution of 3.01% of probable obstructive illness, 2.58% of restrictive illness and 1.51% of mixed pattern of illness.


Air pollution, Industrial pollution, Pulmonary function, Spirometry in children

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