Pepper Gas Use: Kashmir medicos warn of health hazards
‘Pepper Smoke Causes Temporary Blindness, Shortness Of Breath’
Srinagar, Feb 13: The unabated use of pepper and teargas by police and paramilitary forces on protestors in Kashmir has raised a serious health concern among the experts and medicos.
The Public Health experts Wednesday cautioned people about the ill-effects of pepper gas, saying “when the skin is exposed to it, people can experience tingling, intense burning pain, swelling, redness, and, occasionally, blistering.” “If it gets in the eyes, it can cause pain and stinging and/or temporary blindness that lasts for an hour or so,” said an eye specialist, who requested not to be identified.
According to him the “immediate changes in mechanical and chemical sensitivity” can persist for up to a week.
Doctors at the Department of Chest Medicine, Government Medical College Srinagar, said if the respiratory system is exposed in the wake of teargas or pepper gas, it can be more dangerous with responses including “burning of throat, wheezing, dry cough, gagging, gasping, inability to breathe or speak.” “It also has a bad effect on skin,” said a medico there. As per their observation the sprays “pose a great risk to people with asthma and other respiratory problems.”
Considering the health hazards of the gas, the Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Commission (SHRC) had directed police and paramilitary CRPF to refrain from using excessive pepper gas (pepper grenades) for crowd dispersal, saying other methods of controlling law and order need to be explored.
However, the forces, according to reports, are using pepper gas in various areas of old Srinagar during protests in the past five days.
Inhabitants of Safakadal, Nawakadal, Kawdara, Rajouri Kadal, Nowhatta, Shahampora, Gojwara, Noorbagh and adjoining areas in Shaher-e-Khaas accused police and CRPF of using pepper guns without any provocation.
They said use of pepper gas has taken a heavy toll on health of children.
Doctors say tear gas is also considered as a skin and mucous membrane irritant, causing burning pain and excess drainage from eyes, nose, mouth, and breathing passages.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 14 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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