In the wee hours of Thursday, a gas leakage was reported from several areas of India's financial capital Mumbai. Citizens tweeted about a 'lingering odour' in their localities. Complaints were received from densely-populated suburbs like Chembur, Powai, and Kandivali.
It has now been confirmed by Mumbai's municipal body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), that the gas had leaked from the Chembur plant of Rashtriya Chemical Fertiliser, a Public Sector company. The leak, authorities say, has now been contained.
But the fact that a gas leak happened, in a populated city like Mumbai, has also instilled fear in the hearts of people who live not so far away from factories.
It's also prompted the question: Of how to protect ourselves and our loved ones in case of a gas leak?
FIT spoke to doctors to find out.
What to Do In Case of a Gas Leak
Dr Suneel Naagar, a respiratory specialist at Asian Hospitals says that we must protect our airways and eyes in case of a gas leak, as those are the areas most prone to getting affected.
"You have to cover your eye because the chemical reactions that take place in the eye can also lead to blindness," says Dr Daagar.
However, Dr Daagar says normal goggles, which have a huge gap around the eye, won't be able to protect the eye.
Here are some other suggestions by the doctor:
- You can wrap a cloth dipped in water around your mouth and nose. The more dense air won't be able to pass through.
- You have to wear a mask, but the basic ones won’t help in a gas leak of much intensity. You can use N95 and N 99 masks.
- Close the nostrils and eyes of your child with a cloth.
- Dip your eyelids inside water so the gas that got in contact with your cornea can get washed off.
- Get a complete health check up at a medical centre nearby. You should get a blood test, chest and X ray done because chemical pneumonitis is very common in these cases.
Common Symptoms Observed Post a Gas Leak
- People who have just emerged from a gas leak might get skin and eye irritation. You may observe some watering in the eye.
- Rashes, and even cold rashes can occur.
- A more dense smoke can lead to irritation of the upper airways.
- If the patient already has obstructive airway disease, they may suffer from bronchospasm, that can lead to choking and even death.
- Incase of carbon monoxide leak, can lead to dizziness and light headedness.
- Poisoning by CO can result in decrease in saturation and can even lead to hypoxemia.
FIT found some polycarbonate kits with safety masks and goggles for chemical leaks on Amazon, that are available for less than Rs 1500.
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