Effects of agriculture crop residue burning on children and young on PFTs in North West India


Variations in pulmonary function tests (PFTs) due to agriculture crop residue burning (ACRB) on children between the age group of 10 to 13 years and the young between 20 to 35 years are studied. The effects of exposure to smoke due to rice–wheat crop residue burning on pulmonary functions like Force Vital Capacity (FVC), Force Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1), Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) and Force Expiratory Flow in 25 to 75% of FVC (FEF25–75%) on 40 healthy subjects of rural/agricultural area of Sidhuwal village of Patiala City were investigated for a period from August 2008 to July 2009. Measurements were taken by spirometry according to the American Thoracic Society standards. High volume sampler (HVS) and Anderson Impactor were used to measure the concentration levels of SPM, PM10 and PM2.5 in ambient air of the Sidhuwal village. A significant increase in the concentration levels of SPM, PM10 and PM2.5 was observed due to which PFTs of the subjects showed a significant decrease in their values, more prominently in the case of children. PFTs of young subjects recovered up to some extent after the completion of burning period but the PFT values of children remained significantly lower (pb0.001) even after the completion of burning episodes. Small size particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) affected the PFTs to a large extent in comparison to the large size particulate matter (SPM). The study indicates that ACRB is a serious environmental health hazard and children are more sensitive to air pollution, as ACRB poses some unrecoverable influence on their PFTs.


Awasthi, A. Singh, N. Mittal, S. Gupta, P. K. Agarwal, R.


Sci Total Environ , 2010


Agriculture crop, residue burning, Children, PFTs, PM10, PM2.5, Spirometry, SPM