Diwali snag for asthma patients!

New Delhi: The use of fire crackers during the festive season of Dussehra and Diwali pose health hazards for people suffering from asthma, bronchitis and other breathing disorders.

Crackers like "phuljari" and "anar" include highly toxic heavy metals like copper, cadmium, lead, manganese, zinc, sodium and potassium.

"These metals, if present in the air, can trigger asthma in a patient. They can cause severe headache, respiratory diseases in the lungs, apart from chronic cough," said SPS Bakshi, president of Homoeopathic Medical Association of India.

Some of the precautions suggested by doctors are -- avoid highly polluted areas, avoid sudden temperature change, physical stress and identify the source of allergy.

According to the World Health Organization, India has an estimated 15-20 million asthma patients.