• Lung Care Foundation
  • 011 - 4225 2328
  • lung@lcf.org.in

Risk Factors and Prevention

Dust(धूल) and Smoke(धुआं)

Lungs are damaged primarily because of these two factors of ‘धूल‘ or Dust and ‘धुआं‘ or Smoke.

Smoke or ‘धुआं‘ emitted from various sources such as vehicular sources, industrial sources, high exposure to other VOC fumes and burning landfill sites. People residing in the areas closer to high traffic areas/ dense industrial regions / living in conditions where they inhale smell of paints/ lead or mercury are at greater risk of damaging their lungs.

Dust or ‘धूल‘ originating from various sources like roadside, construction site and unauthorized dumps of construction waste, empty grounds with no grass or plantation etc.

Impact of Dust Pollution on Health

Airborne dust particles are potentially hazardous for human health. Particles more than the 10 µg are not breathable and hence are very harmful to our lungs and other external organs of the body. Inhalable particles of size 10 µg get trapped in nose, mouth and respiratory tract thus causing respiratory/ airway diseases like asthma, pneumonia, allergic rhinitis and silicosis.

The danger lies more with the fine dust particles, since they can clog the alveoli, penetrate into the blood stream and enter other internal organs as well leading to cardio-vascular disorders and stroke.



Pneumonia is the most common disease of the lungs caused by many possible germs like bacteria, fungi, viruses etc. A very important means to safe guard our Lungs is regular and proper handwashing to prevent infection from various germs.

Cold Weather and Our Lungs

Cold weather greatly affects our Lung Health. Cold air is often dry and aggravates breathing and lung function problems especially for chronic patients with lung diseases like asthma, COPD or bronchitis.

Cold dry air makes the airways lose water vapour, which causes an indirect spasm in the airways causing wheezing, coughing and flaring up of asthma like symptoms.

For people suffering from chronic respiratory –

  • Avoid going out in extreme cold weather
  • Wear sufficient warm clothing and cover your nose & mouth with a warm scarf in case you do have to going out.
  • Take your medications as prescribed
  • Avoid exercising outdoors in extreme cold
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water / use hand sanitizer to prevent flu infections


Tobacco consumption pattern in India greatly differs from the rest of the world and is unique in itself. Legally permitted cigarettes account for 11% of the overall tobacco consumed in the India. Rest 89% are the traditional form of tobacco like chewing tobacco, beedis, khaini, snuff and illegal cigarettes.

Predominant forms of smokeless tobacco in India are Gutka, Pan Masala and other such products. Analysis of various market preparations of Gutka and Pan Masalas available in the Indian market have shown very high levels of heavy metals like Lead, Cadmium, Chromium, Arsenic, Copper and Nickel.


Every cigarette consumed has more than 600 ingredients and create more than 7000 chemicals on burning including chemicals like –

  • Acetone – found in nail polish remover
  • Ammonia – a common household cleaner
  • Benzene – found in rubber cement
  • Cadmium – active component in battery acid
  • Formaldehyde – embalming fluid
  • Lead – used in batteries
  • Methanol – a main component in rocket fuel
  • Tar – material for paving roads
  • Acetic Acid – an ingredient in hair dye
  • Arsenic – used in rat poison
  • Butane – used in lighter fluid
  • Carbon Monoxide – released in car exhaust fumes
  • Hexamine – found in barbecue lighter fluid
  • Naphthalene – an ingredient in mothballs
  • Nicotine – used as insecticide
  • Toluene – used to manufacture paint

Health Facts of Tobacco

  • WHO has classified smokeless tobacco as confirmed cancer-causing substances
  • They are known to contain more than 3000 chemicals and 28 well proven carcinogens
  • Causes severe damage to oral and dental health
  • Smokeless tobacco is associated with cancers of the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, larynx, pharynx and lungs
  • It is also associated with hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and risk of stroke
  • It is known to have severe effect on fertility in both males and females & also severely affects the fetus.


Only prevention from the ill-effects of smoking is to quit smoking today. It is never too late.