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Health Effects and Environmental issues in residents around Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant, Padubidri: A cross sectional study.

Sushma Adappa, Rajnarayan Tiwari, Ramachandra Kamath, Vasudeva Guddattu.

Background: Coal based thermal power plants (CFTPP) have been found to deteriorate human health and environment by its releases. It can cause impact on air, water, soil. Thus the present study was undertaken to assess the health status of the residents and environmental conditions in the area in the vicinity of thermal power plant.
Material and Methods: The present cross-sectional study included 408 residents in a 5 km radius around Padubidri thermal power plant. The information was gathered using interviewer administered semi structured questionnaire, measurement of peak expiratory flow rate using peak flow meter and environmental air monitoring using the Dust trak monitor.
Results: It can be observed that majority of the subjects were in the age group ≥45years (50.7%) with the mean age of the participants being 43.08± 12.05 years. 82.8% were females and 17.2% were males. In a total of 408 study participants, 26.7% had cough, 16.7% had phlegm, 4.2% had wheeze, 6.6% had shortness of breath and 1.5 % had chest pain. 9.8% had allergic symptoms like sneezing, eye irritation and skin itching. Though the mean observed PEFR was lower in females, smokers, those residing very near to the plant, those with respiratory and allergic symptom. However, the difference was statistically non-significant (p>0.05).
Conclusion: The present study highlights the presence of health problems particularly respiratory and allergic symptoms among the residents in the vicinity of thermal power plant.

Key words: CFTPP, Environmental pollution, chronic bronchitis, particulate matter

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