From Pink to Black: What Happens to Our Lungs in Air Pollution?

“Every new born child in a polluted city is smoking 25 cigarettes from the day he is born. We are making our children chain-smokers.”

Dr Arvind Kumar, lung surgeon and founder of Lung Care Foundation told FIT that he has not seen a healthy pair of lungs since 1988.

“I don’t remember when I last a pink lung in the OT. And the clinal manifestation of that is the increase in the asthmatic problems in children, increase in pneumonia in children, increase in various lung infections in children as well as adults, increase in the number of COPD cases.”

He adds that the air pollution is directly causing these changes, as cigarette smoke and air pollution have the same chemical composition. In fact, the WHO accepted that polluted air was a carcinogen of category 1.

Dr Arvind Kumar“A child who is born in New Delhi city today when air quality index is 600+,particle 2.5 is 500+which is equal to 25+ cigarettes. Every newborn who is born in New Delhi city is smoking 25 cigarettes from the first day of his or her life.”

He adds that by this logic, “And if you have smoking starting from the first breath of your life, by the time you are 25 years of age, you’ve been a smoker for 25 years so you’re ready to have lung cancer at the age of 25 or 30.”

Also Read: Smog, Smog Everywhere: How To Protect Kids from Air Pollution?

(Delhi is in a public health emergency and schools have been shut. The air outside is visibly toxic - how has the hazardous air #pollution impacted you? Write down your #PollutionKaSolution and send it to us at FIT@thequint.com. )

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