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Issue 21
, 2010
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Chennai e-waste triggering fatal health problems

Source: Express Buzz, Date: , 2009

Chennai might soon turn home for patients of respiratory diseases and cancer, if there is nothing done about the unexplored area of health impacts due to hazardous disposal of e-waste in the city, warn medical experts.

Unexplored, yet an emerging problem are the health hazards posed by the electronic waste dumped in the various dumpyards and second-hand electronic goods market in the city.

Moreover, there is no indepth study on the health impacts.

Respiratory specialist, Apollo Hospitals, Dr R P Ilango said there is no awareness among the doctors too.

When burning of even municipal solid waste could cause COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), then one can imagine the harm caused by toxic ingredients present in e-waste.

Especially for the ragpickers who work in the area, a pulmonary function testing should be done, he suggests.

With the city exceeding the pollution level limits, studies show that 4.5 per cent of the population suffers from COPD and 3.5 per cent of the population suffers from asthma.

Most chest specialists and a few general physicians Express spoke to said that there has been an increase in the respiratory problems of people living near e-waste dumpyards, those working in nearby companies.