Study Exposes Correlation Between Diesel Generator Fumes and Rise In Respiratory Diseases in Zim

ZIMBABWE has been battling long hours of load shedding and prolonged hours of darkness since early 2019.Most Zimbabweans have resorted to alternative energy sources such as Solar Panels, Gas for cooking and refrigeration, Kerosene, rechargeable lamps and generators.

By Michael Gwarisa

In as much switching to alternative energy sources is a welcome move, majority of the combustible sources could result in negative health implications. Diesel generators for example produce these small carbon like particles which if inhaled could pose some serious respiratory consequences.

According to a study titled,”Health effects of diesel engine exhaust emissions exposure (DEEE) can mimic allergic asthma and rhinitis” which was conducted by some of Zimbabwe’s top Asthma, Allergies and Immunology experts, Prfoessor Elopy Sibanda and Dr Nancy Makaza, a series of patients  were presenting to Accident and Emergency (A&E) facilities with dyspnoea, coughing, wheezing and nasal blockage and in most cases are presumed to have allergic.

Occupational asthma (OA), which has similar symptoms is rarely considered. Triggers of OA include exposure to diesel engine exhaust emissions exposure (DEEEE) that are carcinogenic. We report the case of a patient who presented to an A&E facility with asthma-like symptoms, was treated for allergic asthma.

“Frequent exacerbations were experienced. Upon investigations it was shown that were symptoms triggered by DEEE exposure. Case presentation: A 36-year-old female bank employee was referred for the evaluation of suspected asthma. She reported a 3-month history of symptoms suggestive of asthma and rhinitis, for which she had previously required A&E treatment. There was no history of atopy. The symptoms only occurred at work or after work. Their onset had coincided with changing offices to one located proximal to a diesel-powered electricity generator,” said part of the study.

Click HERE to access the paper

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