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J Environ Health Sci Eng. 2014 Jan 9;12(1):23. doi: 10.1186/2052-336X-12-23.

A retrospective approach to assess human health risks associated with growing air pollution in urbanized area of Thar Desert, western Rajasthan, India.

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Department of Biotechnology, Maharishi Markandeshwar University, Mullana-Ambala, Haryana 133203, India.


: Air pollution has been a matter of great concern globally because of the associated health risks to individuals. The situation is getting worse in developing countries with more urbanization, industrialization and more importantly the rapidly growing population posing a threat to human life in the form of pulmonary, cardiovascular, carcinogenic or asthmatic diseases by accumulating toxic pollutants, harmful gases, metals, hydrocarbons etc.


The present study was undertaken to assess the magnitude of ambient air pollutants and their human health risks like respiratory ailments, infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancer using a Retrospective Approach of Bart Ostra.


The parameters PM2.5, PM10, NOx, SO2, NH3 and O3 were monitored at all selected study sites monitored through a high volume sampler (APM 451 Envirotech, Envirotech Instruments Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India). Retrospective Approach was used for assessment of risk factors and disease burden of respiratory and cardiopulmonary health problems.


Environmental burden of disease showed that the problem of health related to air pollution is a main concern particularly in the growing cities of India. High to critical level of air pollution including PM10, PM2.5, NOx, SO2, NH3 and O3 was observed in all seasons at traffic intersections and commercial sites. The respiratory infections (25% incidence in population exposed to indoor smoke problems) and a prevalence of asthma/COPD (4.4%) in households exposed to high vehicular pollution along with signs of coronary artery/heart disease and/or hypertension and cancers (37.9-52.2%), were reported requiring preventive measures.


The study reflects a great concern for the mankind with the need of having streamline ways to limit air pollution and emphasize upon efficiently determining the risk of illness upon exposure to air pollution.

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