September 26, 2020

Toxic reality check for traffic police

Patna: A non-government organisation’s drive on Monday revealed that city traffic police have high level of poisonous carbon monoxide in their lungs, which make them vulnerable to headache, dizziness, vomiting, chest pain, breathlessness, loss of consciousness and also impacts oxygen delivery to organs. Long-term exposure to the gas can even lead to blindness and death.

A drive, jointly conducted by the Bangalore-based Narain Sewa Sansthan and city traffic police, in which 102 traffic police personnel got themselves tested brought forth this glaring piece of information.

Of the 102 traffic cops, around 70 per cent had 15-20 parts per million (PPM) carbon monoxide level in their lungs quite high to the normal limit which varies from 0-6 PPM. Seventeen per cent traffic police were found in the dangerous zone as they were having CO concentration over 20 PPM in their lungs.

Dr Sachin Sinha, secretary of Narain Sewa Sansthan, said: “We carried out the test on traffic cops who were posted in traffic posts situated on main roads, including Income Tax roundabout, Hartali Mor, Boring Road roundabout, New Secretariat, Raja Bazaar, Ashiana Nagar, Jagdeo Path and Gola Road. The test was conducted on cops through carbon monoxide analyser. The high concentration level of carbon monoxide level in traffic cops can be due to widening of roads and deforestation drives which are conducted for road-widening purposes. Many cops admitted to us that they were experiencing shortness of breath after trees were cut down near traffic posts.”

He added: “Another problem which we came across is that cops were not found wearing their masks. Only six-seven cops were found wearing their masks during duty while all of them admitted to have been provided with the safety mask, which have two-three layers of filter protection.”

Dr Sinha said his NGO officials had requested traffic cops to wear the masks that were provided to them throughout their duty hours. “Inhaling carbon monoxide is dangerous because it decreases amount of oxygen in the blood. The traffic cops spend seven to eight hours at their traffic post. They are quite vulnerable to the poisonous gases. The government should take efforts of addressing pollution by increasing green cover in the city. As a small gesture to address their problem, we are going to gift snake plants to all traffic posts here which we visited during the drive. The snake plant could be helpful for cops if it is kept at traffic posts as it purifies the air,” added Sinha.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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