To clarify, Dr Jayadevan says, yes, cancer-causing chemicals can be found in the open burning of waste. But, he adds, "it's not a binary. It's not either cancer yes, or cancer no."

"The risk of these carcinogens actually causing cancer has mainly been seen in those who are exposed to large amounts of it for a prolonged period of time like people who actually spray the fertilizers, and do it for a living," he adds.

Similarly, Dr Pinto talks about how those involved in rescue operations, and dousing the fire, who have been in close range of the fire for days on end, are at a higher risk.

However, for a person that's not too close to the site, that's breathing in the fumes for a span of a few days, the risk of developing cancer from it is considerably lower.

Dr Jayadevan adds, "When we say that, we should not be misconstrued as trying to trivialise the situation. If fires like this one continue to be an ongoing problem in the future, the risk will increase on a sliding scale."

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