''Since I have started this job, my eyes burn and I have to wash it every hour. I also have a recurrent cough problem," said traffic policeman Azman Ali, who spends at least ten hours a day at the busy ITO crossing. The government has provided some with paltry breathing protection.
NDTV conducted a quick experiment using a respirometer on two traffic policeman - one who works outdoors and another indoors. They two were asked to do breathing exercises and the results were evident; Ali failed the test.
Traffic Police personnel are most vulnerable given their prolonged exposure and are more prone to catching allergy and infection that lead to asthma, in extreme conditions heart diseases and in some cases even cancer, says Dr Avi Kumar.
Dr. Muktesh Chander, Delhi Traffic Police Commissioner told NDTV that the department provides high quality masks and conducts health checkups.
"If someone is found having any health issues due to pollution, they are taken off on-field duty," he added.
However, Ali was only given a mask by his colleague once NDTV started filming them and he even struggled to put one on.
Medical experts say that traffic officials who are exposed to pollution for a prolonged period are prone to lung diseases given the worsening air quality in Delhi. Around one-fourth of the national capital's alarming pollution is caused by vehicular emissions.
According to WHO, Delhi is the most polluted among 1,600 cities across the world.
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