Big or small, pepper gas is threat to all!
THIS is in reference to the use of pepper gas by the police and paramilitary forces ostensibly to disperse the agitating people in the City. Let it be stated that all the deleterious effects of the pepper gas victimise people who are far from the scene of agitation. The toxic air laden with pepper gas enters every household in the area and causes maximal damage to the most vulnerable sections of our population.
Imagine--infants, toddlers, sick adults and the senior citizens who suffer from pulmonary insufficiency, being subjected to the toxic gas within the four walls of their homes--far from the scene of agitation, can be afflicted with deadly clinical problems.
The infants and toddlers who normally have comparatively narrow air passages and may suffer from seasonal respiratory infections are thus peculiarly vulnerable to the noxious effects of the pepper gas.
I have seen a number of children over the last year or two who were afflicted with this near-lethal clinical problem. They complain of instantaneous bout of unstoppable cough, red eyes, shortness of breath, gasping, gagging. Older children, in addition to above,complain of difficulty in seeing, headache and air-hunger.
Of course people with Asthma and those suffering from other respiratory diseases have their symptoms instantly aggravated.
One hardly needs to emphasize the fact that use of pepper gas is cause of considerable morbidity and can result in mortality too, particularly of the very young and the elderly. The State Human Rights Commission, ministers of health and medical education, the Red Cross and the civil society should impress on the administration that use of pepper gas should be stopped forthwith.
Dr Altaf Hussain
(The author is a renowned pediatrician. The ideas expressed are his own)
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 9 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST
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