Residents know about health hazards of landfills: Study

For the study, one adult resident per household was randomly selected, provided their homes were situated within a radius of 3 km from the landfill. As many as 93 respondents took part in the study, which was conducted for two months from September 2020.
File photo of Perungudi dumpyard
File photo of Perungudi dumpyard

CHENNAI: A report published in Tamil Nadu Journal of Public Health and Medical Research states that 80% of residents around landfills know that landfills and living or working in its proximity can cause health hazards, in addition to other issues due to the waste from landfills.

The report stated that among respiratory problems due to air pollution, 39% of the respondents stated bronchial asthma as the major respiratory issue followed by lung cancer (22.6%). Only 37% of respondents were aware that air pollution was hazardous to the foetus.

“Around 35% respondents reported mask usage to reduce effects of air pollution and 47% reported that proper waste management can protect from the effects of air pollution in their area,” the report added.

The Institute of Community Medicine of Madras Medical College conducted the survey taking a landfill in Vaniyambadi in Tirupattur district.

For the study, one adult resident per household was randomly selected, provided their homes were situated within a radius of 3 km from the landfill. As many as 93 respondents took part in the study, which was conducted for two months from September 2020.

Around 48% respondents had health check-ups only when they developed symptoms while 22.3% reported having regular check-ups twice a year. Among residents, 41.4% reported self-medication almost always when they developed any symptoms.

The report recommended providing health education to residents living near highly polluted areas. It also urged the local administration to have measures to check and prevent manufacturing companies within the radius of 2 km of an open landfill.

“The concept of bio parks could be emphasised which might greatly help in reducing the air pollutants being generated from such densely polluted geographical sites. Regular annual master health check-ups for such residents at nearby medical colleges is necessary,” the report recommended.

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