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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 415-420

Realistic personal exposure assessment of air pollutants and health outcomes – A cross-sectional study among Kolkata slum dwellers

1 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, IIT, Kharagpur, West Bengal, India
3 Senior Resident, Department of Community Medicine, Midnapore Medical College, Midnapore, West Bengal, India
4 Counsellor, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Belle Vue Clinic, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
5 Scientist, Department of Public Health, Regional Occupational Health Centre (ICMR), Kolkata, West Bengal, India
6 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Jagannath Gupta Institute of Medical Sciences, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Arup Chakraborty
240, Golpukur Road, P. O. Baruipur, 24 Parganas (S) - 700 144, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.ijph_1514_22

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Background: Rapid, unplanned, and unsustainable patterns of urban development can result in many emerging environmental and health hazards. One of the important public health problems of urban environment is regular exposure to dust and pollutants and consequence of such exposure in the form of changes in the pulmonary function. Being the immediate environment, indoor pollution poses a higher risk to human health than the ambient environment. Realistic personal exposure assessment gives the actual idea about the exposure status. Objectives: This study determined the household principal environmental exposures (Dust, SO2, NO2, and total volatile organic compound) among urban slum dwellers and assessment of the respiratory function to determine any possible relationship between those exposures and outcomes. The study also described the knowledge, attitude, and practice of these urban slum people regarding air pollution and its effect. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among 442 urban slum people residing in the slums of the Kolkata Municipal area. Household environmental exposures were collected by standardized methods and outcome was observed by conducting a pulmonary function test. Finally, knowledge, attitude, and practice regarding air pollution were carried out with the help of a questionnaire-based survey. Results and Discussion: Almost all the pollutants exposure was associated with impairment of lung function. Younger age and female gender were statistically associated protective factors for the development of any lung disease. Those who had an overall good awareness regarding the means and effects of air pollution were found to be protected from developing lung disease. Using exhaust ventilation, relocation to inner side of slums, using personal protective measures, and adequate pollution awareness can help the slum citizens to overcome the problem.

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