Member of the Board of the Turkish National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Association Prof. Dr. Özge Soyer warned against the dust spread to the environment and the air pollution created by these dusts, especially during the rubble removal in the earthquake region.
After the earthquake disaster, which caused the death of more than 11 thousand people in 40 provinces on the Eastern Anatolian fault line, the increasing air pollution in the region has mobilized experts. The piles of rubble that emerged after the destruction of tens of thousands of houses and the dense construction dust caused by these piles are of great danger because they also trigger many diseases.
Member of the Board of the Turkish National Allergy and Clinical Immunology Association Prof. Dr. Özge Soyer stated that the increase in respiratory complaints of asthma patients should be acted on in the early period and appropriate treatment should be provided, and said:
“Debris removal works should be done after wetting with water and the amount of dust in the air should be reduced. Temporary shelters should be established in areas that are not affected by air pollution. Stating that exposure to asbestos, which can be found in buildings built before 2010 and is a carcinogen, is risky in the long term and that precautions must be taken, Soyer said, “Gloves, overalls, full face masks and eye protection should be used in these regions, especially during debris removal.”
“Asthma attacks increase in times of disaster”
Stating that construction dust, fungi and air pollution caused by the destruction caused by the great earthquake disaster pose a serious threat especially to asthma patients, Soyer stated that it is difficult to reach asthma medications during the earthquake and that breathing and coughing problems will increase if patients cannot use the drugs. told:
“After the 2011 Great Japanese Earthquake, children with asthma had a 6-fold increased risk of having an asthma attack, and about half of the patients were unable to access medication. As is known, asthma attacks develop due to respiratory tract infections, exposure to allergens or air pollution, and not using the drugs necessary for the treatment of the disease regularly. For this reason, the number of asthma patients who apply to the emergency room increases during periods of increased air pollution. It was also reported that the frequency of asthma increased much more in children exposed to the dust clouds that emerged in the World Trade Center attack in 2001.”
“Increased air pollution after the earthquake causes persistent dry coughs”
Soyer emphasized that viral respiratory tract infections are transmitted more easily due to the crowdedness of temporary shelters and the lack of appropriate health conditions in the post-earthquake period, and the risk increases much more in asthma patients. He said that not only asthmatic patients, but also people who did not have respiratory problems before, were affected by the air pollution after the earthquake and persistent dry coughs appeared.
Stating that the long-term exposure to the air next to open stoves and stoves without a chimney causes carbon monoxide poisoning, Soyer said:
“Since carbon monoxide gas is a colorless, odorless gas, poisoning is not noticed; The first symptoms are headache, weakness, drowsiness, nausea-vomiting and abdominal pain and require immediate medical attention. Exposure to carcinogenic asbestos, which can be found in the debris in the earthquake zone, especially in the buildings constructed before 2010, is risky in the long term, precautions should be taken. Gloves, overalls, full face mask and eye protection should be used.
“Debris should not be removed without getting wet, dust should be prevented”
Stating that it is very important for asthma patients, especially asthmatic children, to have access to asthma medications as soon as possible in the earthquake zone, Soyer concluded his words as follows:
“To reduce indoor air pollution, it is essential to avoid smoking, frequent ventilation and solving the need for heating in closed areas, if possible, with electric heaters. In order to reduce outdoor air pollution, debris removal should be done after wetting it with water and the amount of dust in the air should be reduced. Temporary shelters should be established in areas that are not affected by air pollution. The increase in respiratory complaints of asthma patients should be noticed in the early period and appropriate treatment should be provided.
Günceleme: 04/03/2023 13:28