With the worsening problem on air pollution in Metro Manila, heart specialists from the Manila Medical Center (ManilaMed) will be asking the Department of Health (DoH) to make masks accessible to the public.

“I-lobby natin sa gobyerno na mag-provide sila ng masks gaya ng condoms,” Dr. Jorge Sison, chairman of cardiology at the ManilaMed, said a round table discussion yesterday afternoon.

Speaking in behalf of his fellow cardiologists at ManilaMed, Sison disclosed that the level of air pollution in Metro Manila continues to pose risks for its residents, especially those with heart conditions.

“We see a lot of cardiovascular diseases in the major cities. If you talk about ManilaMed, you see a lot of cardiovascular patients. Every day, in and out, you see people with stroke coming in, high blood pressure,” he noted.

The heart specialists believe that wearing mask may be the best solution for now until such time that air pollutants are reduced to safer levels.

“The immediate solution is to wear masks in areas where pollution is visibly high like increased vehicular emissions,” Sison said.

While the doctors has yet to communicate with the DoH, Metro Manila residents were urged to always wear a mask in polluted areas.

Earlier, a study by the Philippine Heart Association (PHA) found that more people from big cities have been seeking medical attention for different kinds of heart diseases, compared to those living in rural areas. One of the major contributors to these heart problems is the amount of pollution in the air.

He further explained that the toxins in the air may be contributory to dysfunctions of blood vessels and abnormal blood viscosity are what causes the blood vessels to become abnormally tight. When this happens, the blood pressure goes up causing hypertension, which is the number one cause of heart attacks and strokes.
(Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce)

This news originally appeared here.