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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 66  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 91-97

Assessment of health status and impact of pollution from thermal power plant on health of population and environment around the plant in Udupi District, Karnataka


1 Professor and Head, Department of Community Medicine, Kodagu Institute of Medical Sciences, Government of Karnataka, Madikeri, Karnataka, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kodagu Institute of Medical Sciences, Government of Karnataka, Madikeri, Karnataka, India
3 Biostatistician, Department of Community Medicine, Kodagu Institute of Medical Sciences, Government of Karnataka, Madikeri, Karnataka, India
4 Deputy Director, Centre for Environmental Health, Public Health Foundation of India
5 Consultant, Centre for Chronic Disease Control, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sharvanan Eshwar Udayar
Department of Community Medicine, Kodagu Institute of Medical Sciences, Government of Karnataka, Madikeri - 571 201, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_1422_20

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Background: Coal-fired thermal power plants (TPPs) have a serious impact on soil, air, and water quality resulting in deterioration of health and environment around the plant. Objective: The present study was undertaken with the objectives of assessing the respiratory health status of the population around the plant and to measure selected heavy metals in fly ash, air, water, and soil samples. Materials and Methods: The current cross-sectional study was conducted among 3533 adult residents living in two strata within 10 km radius around the TPP in Udupi district of Karnataka state. Data were collected by using semi-structured questionnaire and spirometry and environmental air monitoring by DustTrak aerosol monitor, water, and soil samples were collected for analysis. Results: Majority of the study participants were in the age group of >45 years (41.4%). 70.6% were females and 0.39% were trans-genders. 4.3% were suffering from various respiratory problems. Bivariable logistic regression showed subjects aged 46–65 years and >65 years have 2.91 times and 4.42 times higher odds of respiratory disease as compared to those with age ≤45 years. Multivariable logistic regression showed significant association between higher age group (P < 0.0001) and in subjects who had closed window during cooking (P < 0.006). Levels of heavy metals in soil samples and particulate matter 2.5 were well within permissible limits whereas the ground water samples had excess levels of iron, manganese, and copper. Conclusion: The present study has implications for policymaking to protect the environment and health of vulnerable populations in industrial clusters and the vicinity of power plants.


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