ISLAMABAD: Citizens residing near industry areas or marble factories are concerned over the hazardous and high-risk working environment at the factory that is allegedly putting their lives at risk on a daily basis, a health physician warned on Sunday.
Talking to private news channel Dr Qaiser Sajjad said, the steel and marble industry was a big source of pollution as it uses low-quality scrap as raw materials and releases harmful particles into the air.
The workers and residents inhaling dust particles of the marbles, which exposes them to Tuberculosis and Silicosis, the lung diseases caused by a dust particle called crystalline silica, he explained.
He said marble dust contains particles of calcium carbonate and silica. The exposure to the latter causes silicosis a lung disease also known as grinder’s asthma.
“Possible symptoms of this disease are intense coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, night sweats and respiratory failure,” Dr says and added that people suffering from silicosis were at an increased risk of contracting tuberculosis.
He said crystalline silica was a common mineral found in the earth crust and could cause silicosis, which in severe cases could be disabling, or even fatal.
The respirator silica dust enters the lungs and causes the formation of scar tissue, thus reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen, he added.
These factories dump waste in natural streams and empty plots nearby and none of these factories follows environmental laws to protect citizens, he highlighted.
The atmosphere of industrial areas was worsening day by day, and making it very difficult for visitors to breathe due to increasing pollution, he lamented the issue.
He said that 10 to 15 asbestosis patients visited the clinics in Karachi daily, “More than eight to 10 patients visit my clinic due to upper respiratory problems during three to five years because of dust pollution,” Dr Qaiser added.
In most cases, these units are run without any license or permission. Owners of such units not only violate all the relevant rules and regulations but also create environmental problems, he noted.
He said that the dust of marble also destroys plants by covering their leaves and reducing exposure to sunlight.
Physicians could be aware that silicosis is not a sporadic disease in the field of new “marble” materials and that some patients with simple silicosis could be asymptomatic and undiagnosed for a lot of time.
Physician urged industries should adopt precautionary measures to avoid air pollution and the solution of all the environmental issues as per the law, the government would decide the establishment of the factory.