Protect Yourself from Air Pollution: 10 Best Ways to Fight Hazardous Smog in Delhi
For citizens of Delhi, the situation is grave with the pollutants in the atmosphere causing headaches, cold and respiratory issues coupled with abdominal pain.
A volunteer from civil defence holds a placard with information regarding restrictions on private vehicles based on registration plates on a smoggy morning in New Delhi. (Image: Reuters)
Delhi's Real-time Air Quality Index shows it to be hazardous. A public health emergency was declared in Delhi and nearby areas by a Supreme Court-mandated panel on Friday as the air quality has plummeted to "severe-plus" levels. Smog in Delhi is at a high with pollution level in places like Noida and Gurugram are high as well. Furthermore, the Delhi government on Friday also ordered schools to be closed due to the detrimental air pollution levels.
Taking to Twitter, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal expressed concern over the deteriorating air condition in the national capital and wrote, "Delhi has turned into a gas chamber due to smoke from crop burning in neighbouring states. It is very imp that we protect ourselves from this toxic air. Through pvt & govt schools, we have started distributing 50 lakh masks today. I urge all Delhiites to use them whenever needed,"
A number of factors are responsible for turning the air quality this bad in the national capital, making it damaging for the lungs, eyes as well as the heart.
While we spend a number of hours outdoors exercising, jogging or commuting to and fro from office, a large amount of our time is spent indoors as well. Factors as simple as cigarette smoke, cleaners, ACs, are enough to add up to minute but harmful pollutants in the air.
For citizens of Delhi, the situation is grave with the pollutants in the atmosphere causing headaches, cold and respiratory issues coupled with abdominal pain. Incessant smoking, both direct and passive is another leading cause of atmospheric pollution.
Furthermore, several other indoor pollutants can add to a person's misery causing chronic lung conditions. These include the lighting of candles and the burning of incense sticks. It also is caused by the use of perfumes, paints, toner ink, allergens, stoves and a host of other objects.
If you are someone who is trying to avoid indoor pollution, these steps might go a long way in helping you out:
1. Do not smoke indoors: A practice that is detrimental to a person's overall health, smoking can harm those surrounding the smoker as well.
2. Using craft supplies in well-ventilated areas is a must since they are filled with toxins.
3. Furthermore, a lot of clutter at home acts as a catalyst in collecting dust, which may cause allergy. Minimising dust could go a long way in protecting one's health from air pollution. Carpets too become a storehouse of dust. While seasonal cleaning could be a good way of addressing the issue, one can remove carpeting completely during the cruel winters.
4. Uncovered trash is a welcome sign for pests which are a storehouse of diseases. Avoid keeping uncovered trash.
5. Furthermore, for those using a gas stove, wood-burning and coal can cause a lot of pollution. Using them in a well-ventilated area is a must.
6. Use a dehumidifier and/ or air conditioner to reduce moisture in the house.
7. Avoid bringing dirty shoes into the house as footwear carry a lot of dust which can lead to allergy.
8. Have your car emissions tested regularly to avoid it polluting the surroundings. If you are a regular traveller, make sure your emission is tested at the onset of the winters so that it does not cause trouble to others.
9. Radon is a colourless, odorless and tasteless noble gas, which is harmful for indoor spaces. To avoid it, test your home for radon. Also test your indoor space for accumulation of carbon monoxide as it is harmful for health. Using a carbon monoxide detector could be a good idea.
10. While air fresheners may seem like a good option in spreading fragrance, they can carry harmful components. Try avoiding the use of fresheners or use it sparingly.
11. Wash bedding weekly in hot water since one spends 1/3rd of their day on bed. Accumulation of dust on bed can cause a lot of respiratory complications.
12. Making sure exhaust fans and chimneys are in proper working condition as they help keeping unnecessary dust particles out of indoor spaces.
13. Finally, wear clean clothes. Do not repeat them as they catch dust and end up making you sick. Washing them in hot water is advised.
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