Tips to Protect Yourself from Air Pollution
Air pollution has become a major issue in India due to traffic and vehicle congestion. Since the liberalization of 100% FDI in the automobile sector, the number of vehicles on Indian roads has now exceeded three million.
Fuel wood and biomass have also proved to be factors in increasing the problem. The rate at which urban air pollution has increased is alarming indeed. The air in most cities in India has become toxic, which has fallen below the basic health standards of air quality. The air has become toxic with new pollutants like nitrogen and oxides.
Let us now understand the effect these pollutants have on you:
Short term: The immediate effects of polluted air are carried through your nose, throat, eyes, and lungs. This can lead to allergies and infections that are easily contagious in nature.
Long term: Research states that regular exposure to air pollution can increase the risk of lung diseases, especially in children and the elderly. Air pollution can reduce children's lung capacity by 20 percent.
Now, let's look at the precautions you can take to protect yourself.
- Keep your doors and windows closed to reduce the speed of smoke entering. If you notice that the area around you is smoke-free, take this opportunity to improve the quality of indoor air by opening the windows. You can install window mesh screens that will not only act as an optimal filter against dust particles and pollen, but can also be effective in keeping insects out of your home.
- If you live in a highly polluted area, you should regularly move to an environment with clean air. You can go to a park or garden and do deep breathing exercises if the environment is not polluted.
- You can decorate your home, enhance its attractiveness, and reduce indoor pollution by bringing in your home the air purifying plants such as pea lilies, chrysanthemums, golden pothos, and English ivy.
- Moisture produces dust mites and mildew. Therefore, try to keep the surrounding humidity around 30%-50% which keeps them and other allergies under control.
When out of the house:
- Try to drive as little as possible. Walk, cycle, use public transportation, or use carpooling to get to work. If your office gives you the option to work from home, then definitely take advantage of it. Not only will this save money, but it can also help reduce air pollution.
- In the case of extreme air pollution, try to avoid exercising outside. The reason for this is that you exercise and then breathe heavily, due to which you inhale more dust particles through the breath.
- Make sure your car's air filters are being replaced regularly.
- Wearing a reusable air mask whenever you are out of the house as ordinary paper and cloth masks cannot protect against such high levels of pollution.
- Download the Predictive Outdoor Pollution app that lets you know your city's air quality two days in advance. This will help you make better decisions about when and how to deal with the outside air.