Al Quoz residents should be careful: doctor

DUBAI — Residents and workers based near the affected area have been asked to take extra precautions for at least 48 hours as severe health issues, and even death could result from inhaling the toxic fumes after prolonged exposure.


Asma Ali Zain

Published: Wed 26 Mar 2008, 7:07 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:49 PM

Dr Suresh Menon, Specialist Internal Medicine at Jebel Ali Hospital said that the smoke and fumes could linger in the air for over 48 hours causing serious health concerns, especially for people located near the area where the fire took place. "The fumes from this fire are extremely toxic and loaded with chemicals including carbon monoxide and phosphorous," he explained, adding that it would come as no surprise if more people turned up to GPs complaining of breathing problems in the next couple of days.

"Some of the effects of inhaling this smoke, soot and fumes can arise within 24-48 hours. However, if respiratory problems such as coughing, sneezing and a tightness in the chest occurs, it is advisable to go to a GP immediately," he said.

Dr Menon also said that extreme exposure to such conditions to also cause 'chemical bronchitis' which causes inflammation of the lungs. "Consequences of inhaling soot, acidic smoke full of alkaline could cause swelling in the lungs and brain which could prove fatal," he said. Besides, for some people with sensitive skins, rashes could also break out.

"Other symptoms that can develop later include headaches, lack of concentration, 'morning sickness' and severe breathing problems," explained Dr Menon, adding that anyone with even a little exposure to the smoke should get an immediate check-up.

He also especially advised people with breathing problems such as asthma to take extra precautions. "They should stay indoors with the doors and windows bolted and the air-conditioning (preferably with filters) on. And if possible, they should stay away from the area for a while," he added.

Dr Menon explained that firefighters were at a lesser risk than common man. "Firefighters know their job and they also know how to take precautions, but a common man curious to find out more, can be suddenly exposed to this smoke which can be harmful in the long run.

More news from