Global review of studies on traffic police with special focus on environmental health effects
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School of Public Health, SRM University, Chennai, India
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2014;27(4):523–535
Since occupation is a major determinant of health, traffic police personnel face multiple occupational hazards. They are continuously exposed to vehicular emissions and work in a noisy and polluted environment. The objective of the present review is to explore the impact of occupational health hazards on the health of traffic police personnel. Published research papers on traffic police reporting occupational health issues were accessed and reviewed. Attempts were made to access papers that reported negative associations in order to present a balanced review. The majority of the studies have reported a decrease in the lung function and increased respiratory morbidity. The research on the cytogenetic abnormalities or genotoxic effect of vehicular emissions arising due to long-term exposure to benzene and other polyaromatic hydrocarbons has provided conflicting results, since more or less equal numbers of studies have given evidence for and against the causal association. There is a vast accumulation of epidemiological evidence on the casual association between vehicular pollution and its carcinogenic effect. Multiple studies have concluded that traffic police are highly stressed. A number of occupational factors have been attributed to stress among traffic police. Occupational health studies help us to understand the effects of vehicular pollution and its adverse influence on workers. They also provide opportunity for defined exposures measurements and precise risk assessment. The findings from these studies are easily generalizable and can help us understand the impact of air pollution on the general population.