ASMA GHANI AND FOZIA AZAM ISLAMABAD Use of heavy teargas by the police in order to disperse the charged demonstrators protesting against the unjust increase in transport fares caused disturbance for residents of the Bhara Kahu and nearby areas resulting in several health problems. The teargas was fired by the police in response to the stone pelting by the protesters especially the students, who turned violent when one of their fellows was seriously injured as result of polices aerial firing. Residents accused police of showing carelessness in firing teargas shells. The persistence and severity of the symptoms were widely reported by the residents of the nearby houses where clashes between police and protesters took place. Some shells even fell in the houses causing severe coughing and sneezing to the residents. As according to health experts teargas contains heavy chemicals that can cause lung problems, eye damage and even death. As it carries short and long-term health risks various formulations contain potential carcinogens. Even tear gas may cause health problems even for healthy people. Whereas it can leave severe side effects for people with diabetes, asthma, allergies or heart problems for pregnant women, children and the elderly. It was like a war zone, said Munir Ahmad, a student whom was trapped in the mob. Police started firing teargas and within seconds, the area was filled with gas and the air turned white all around and I started coughing he added. It felt like I was on fire, my friend and I both became hysterical. Another working woman who was trying to reach her workplace became victim of the tear gas when a shell fell near her. While describing her ordeal she said, Even after the passage of a day, I am feeling serious flu symptoms, tired, fatigued and slightly nauseated. While talking to TheNation Dr Waseem Khawaja senior consultant at PIMS said tear gas could cause temporary blindness, respiratory problems, vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue and disorientation. As symptoms may linger for days in otherwise healthy individuals, he added. It can even cause respiratory arrest and acute elevations in blood pressure associated with risk of stroke and heart attack he continued. Meanwhile, 13 injured people including 11 police men were brought to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) all were discharged after getting medical treatment. One of them was however, in serious condition and underwent operation.