Air pollution has become a major issue in India because of traffic and vehicle congestion. Since the liberalization of automobile sector 100 FDI in automobiles the number of automobiles on Indian roads have increased to over 3million now
Adding to the problem is fuelwood and biomass burning, and fuel adulteration. The rate at which urban air pollution has gone up is really alarming. Majority of cities in India are caught up in this toxic grasp as air quality has gone below basic health-standards. with newer pollutants like oxides of nitrogen and air toxics adding to the challenge.
Let us understand the impact of these pollutants on you:
Short term: The immediate effect of the polluted air is borne by your nose, throat, eyes, and lungs. This makes you prone to a plethora of allergies and infections, which are easily communicable in nature.
Long term: Research states that regular exposure to air pollution can result in variety of pulmonary diseases, especially in children and the elderly. Air pollution can cut down your lung capacity by 20 percent in children.
Now, let us look at some of the precautions that you can take to protect yourself.
- Keep your doors and windows closed to reduce the pace of the penetration of smoke. If you see that the area around you is smoke free, take this opportunity to open the windows and improve the indoor air quality. You can also invest in window mesh screens that would not only act as an optimal filter against dust particles and pollens, but also effective in keeping insects out of your house.
- If you live in a highly polluted area, make sure take regular breaks a visit an environment with cleaner air. You can visit a park or garden and do deep breathing exercise, given that the environment is not polluted.
- You can add more charm to your house decor and simultaneously reduce indoor pollution by bringing in air-purifying plants like Peace Lily, Florist’s Chrysanthemum, Golden Pothos, and English Ivy.
- Dust mites and mold breed in moisture. So, try and keep the humidity around 30%-50%, which keeps them and other allergens in control.
- Try and drive as less as you can. Take a walk, ride a bicycle, use public transport, or do carpooling to reach work. If your office gives you the choice to work from home, make sure you capitalize on the same. This will not only help in saving money, but also help in reducing air pollution.
- In case of extreme air pollution, try avoiding working out when outdoors. This is because you breathe heavily when you work out, which results in more particles entering through your airways.
- Make sure that the air filters of your care are replaced regularly.
- Wear a reusable air mask when you are outdoors as simple paper and cloth masks cannot protect you from such high level of pollution.
- Download predictive outdoor pollution apps that affords you with air quality information for your city up to two days in advance. This will help you make better decisions about when and how to face the outside air.