A recent study conducted by Chintan, an environmental research and action group, in collaboration with Dr Randeep Guleria and Dr Tejas Menon Suri from the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), has revealed that female waste pickers, municipal sweepers and security guards in Delhi face significant exposure to dust and particulate matter due to their occupation, and are therefore more susceptible to health hazards.The study focused on examining the relationship between air pollution and respiratory illnesses among these three essential occupational groups. The selection of these groups for the survey was based on their higher likelihood of encountering dust, waste, particulate matter and toxic gases in their work environments.The study revealed that female sanitation workers were six times more likely to experience impaired lung function compared to their male colleagues.The survey involved the use of a questionnaire administered on-site, followed by pulmonary function testing, which assesses the strength of a person's lungs. Last year, a survey titled 'Unfair Quality' was conducted, involving 100 participants from each category. The study also found that 97 per cent of sanitation workers, 95 per cent of waste pickers, and 82 per cent of security guards reported exposure to air pollution during their work. Further, more than 60 per cent of sanitation workers, 50 per cent of waste pickers, and 30 per cent of security guards were unaware of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, which help reduce the risks associated with air pollution.The report suggests implementing systemic changes to ensure the long-term safety of these vulnerable workers.