There is a risk to lung health in the earthquake zone

SAFAKNA TURKEY – Continuing with the earthquake zone warning, Ofluoglu said: “In addition to causing the rapid progression of chronic diseases such as COPD, asthma, shortness of breath and allergies, it also causes recurrent upper respiratory diseases (chronic sinusitis, rhinitis). ) after years of exposure to other harmful substances, such as asbestos or silica, can cause lung cancer and respiratory problems due to tissue hardening,” he said.


Emphasizing that garbage collection or demolition of damaged buildings releases large amounts of dust and toxic substances into the atmosphere, chest specialist Dr. Hajer Ofluoglu said: “The spread of dust causes environmental and public health problems. According to the classification of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, it belongs to a certain class of human carcinogens. Asbestos alone increases the risk of lung cancer by five times. When buildings collapse, not only asbestos is released, but also many chemicals that pollute the breathing air. Toxic gases are released when organic and inorganic dusts react with chemicals released from debris and excavations.


Claiming that asbestos was widely used until it was banned in 2010, Uzm. Dr. Ofluoglu continued his words as follows: “Asbestos fibers are dangerous and deadly when they become breathable in the air. Inhaled fibers accumulate in the lungs and cause damage. In this case, injuries begin in the lung, which interferes with the work of the lung and leads to cancer. Workers involved in the production and dismantling of asbestos-containing materials may unknowingly be exposed to this substance if the necessary precautions are not taken. Asbestos can cause life-threatening diseases with irreversible damage such as fluid accumulation between the linings of the lungs, calcification, thickening of the pleura, and connective tissue formation in the lung tissue. For this reason, debris removal work must be carried out by professional teams using appropriate equipment, and machines must be used properly to avoid the risk of spreading asbestos. Civilians should not be in work areas and should be removed. Irrigation during garbage collection reduces the impact of the removed dust. Therefore, cleaning work should be accompanied by irrigation. The places where the removed debris will be dumped should be determined with proper and central planning, and unauthorized excavations should be prevented. For those who are involved in the removal of debris, it is necessary for health reasons to use a high-protection mask of the type “FFP2” or “FFP3”. The simple surgical masks commonly used during the pandemic do not protect against these substances.


Emphasizing that those who work in the earthquake zone, especially in debris removal work, should use masks with high filters and suitable for work safety, Ofluoglu said: “Those who do not have professional equipment and knowledge should not work in areas debris, and citizens and other field workers should not approach these areas unless necessary. People with chronic conditions such as COPD, asthma, shortness of breath and allergies should definitely wear a face shield.

Ofluoglu also said construction dust and polluted air in the region could cause some fungal infections in the lungs, adding: “These infections can lead to permanent lung damage. This may be more important, especially in people with chronic and lung conditions.


Drawing attention to the polluted air in the region, Ofluoglu said: “The issue of heating in the region is also a serious problem now. In addition to the materials used for heating, sudden changes in temperature, sudden decreases and increases in air pressure and humidity also create dense fog environments. This poses a risk to people with chronic conditions such as asthma, COPD, and allergies. This poses a serious problem for people with chronic lung disease. Particle density is also very high in foggy and humid environments. Condensation of particles in the air causes a rapid transfer of viruses into the respiratory tract, especially with particles. In weather like this, we encourage our patients with chronic lung disease to make the most of masks. Those who cannot be in a closed and clean room should cover their mouth and nose, wear a mask tightly, and remember to take precautions.”

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