Home energy efficiency and radon related risk of lung cancer: modelling studyBMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7493 (Published 10 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:f7493
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In rural India because of poverty and easily available fire wood, routine cooking is done on furnaces (chula). In small houses, huts with poor ventilation, children and women are exposed to heavy smoke. Women are neglected in India more so than old people. Routine inhalation of smoke results in recurrent respiratory tract and eye infections. Most women coming for clinical examination have recurrent bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). Because of poor nutrition, overcrowding in small rooms, tuberculosis, COPD, lung fibrosis, reduced total lung volume and terminal cor- pulmonale due to persistent raised pulmonary hypertension is common in rural India. Males are heavy Bidi smokers and tobacco chewers which is an additional risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in addition to carcinoma of the lungs.
Esophageal malignancies are common in rural women attributed to routine consumption of betel nuts in Pan. Majority of them are reported too late in terminal state of severe dysphasia and aspiration. Pulmonary tuberculosis, COPD, and carcinoma of the lungs are common in slum areas and often go unnoticed. Food, vegetables, and grains are contaminated with carcinogens because of heavy spraying of pesticides and addition of phosphates to increase the yield by farmers which has no control.
Heavy environmental pollution with chemical carcinogens in and around the chemical industries is the main place where carcinoma of the lungs is found in the Indian population.
The public is unaware and neglect their health, though there is a rise in COPD, Cancer and tuberculosis, irrespective of repeated warnings and poster advertising and routine free cancer detection camps arranged by government and non-government organizations. There is a big gap regarding health, food, dwellings and economy between the educated and rich population and poor slum dwellers residing in same town. Doctors, pharma industries, and NGOs are more interested in studying and arresting the progress of diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease and mental illness. There should be a task force against pulmonary tuberculosis, carcinoma, environmental pollution, malnutrition and rampant illiteracy in females.
It is misery to witness 18th century and 21st century health, education, and culture in one society. In today’s India because of easy availability of information technology and its gadgets it is no wonder for a man or woman without food, shelter, closed toilet and clothes to have a working mobile phone in hand.
Competing interests: No competing interests