Farmers burning stubble prone to lung cancer: Patiala medical college study : The Tribune India

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Farmers burning stubble prone to lung cancer: Patiala medical college study

Farmers burning stubble prone to lung cancer: Patiala medical college study

In a study, conducted by Assistant Professor of Government Medical College, Patiala, has shown that 80 per cent farmers aged between 20 and 50 years, who engage in the repeated stubble burning, were found to suffer from a significant decline in lung function.



Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 9

In a study, conducted by Assistant Professor of Government Medical College, Patiala, has shown that 80 per cent farmers aged between 20 and 50 years, who engage in the repeated stubble burning, were found to suffer from a significant decline in lung function.

Conducted on 200 farmers

  • 80 per cent farmers aged between 20 and 50 years, who engage in the repeated stubble burning, were found to suffer from a significant decline in lung function
  • The study involved the analysis of lung function in 200 farmers, aged between 20 and 50 years, who actively participated in stubble burning each season

This decline leads to excessive coughing, an early sign of bronchitis, which can potentially lead to more severe respiratory issues such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even lung cancer.

Further investigation revealed that these farmers exhibited excessive deposits of PM 2.5, a harmful fine particulate matter, in their respiratory systems.

Dr Iqbal Singh from the Department of Physiology shared the details of the study. “The purpose of the study is to provide a comprehensive insight into the impact of stubble burning as there haven’t been many studies on this subject before,” he further stated.

The study involved the analysis of lung function in 200 farmers, aged between 20 and 50 years, who actively participated in stubble burning each season.

Another group of 200 individuals, residing far from burnt fields and, therefore, not exposed to stubble burning pollution, served as the control group. Hi-tech spirometry was employed to assess the peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) in both groups, along with additional lung function tests and sample collections.

Dr Iqbal Singh elaborated on the findings, revealing a highly significant decline in lung function values among farmers actively engaged in stubble burning. Moreover, the investigation highlighted the presence of PM 2.5 deposits, known to cause irritation of the respiratory mucosa.

The release of gaseous pollutants, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide and methane and other particulate matters, collectively contributes to severe damage to the lungs of the affected group.

“PM 2.5 particles are extremely small and can penetrate deep into lung tissue, causing irritation and infection. Additionally, they lead to proliferative changes in lung functioning, causing epigenetic and micro-environmental alterations that may result in cancer,” warned Dr Iqbal Singh. The study conclusively establishes that repeated crop residue burning by farmers poses a significant risk of lung cancer.

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#Cancer #Environment #Farm Fires #Pollution #Stubble Burning


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