Picture the streets of any Indian metro city. Traffic jams and endless lanes of cars are not hard to imagine. The roads within the city are chockablock with vehicles and the outskirts are typically bordered with factories and industries. While these indicate progress, they also bring along a massive cloud of pollution that has covered cities with a blanket of pollution and smog.
Recently, the capital city of New Delhi saw air pollution reach such disastrous levels, that everything was forced to come to a halt. Outdoor activities had to be suspended, as the poor air quality could severely impact health. Schools, offices and other institutions were closed and the people were forced to remain indoors for the sake of their wellbeing. Air pollution claims approximately 10,000 – 20,000 lives annually, but in the last few months even that number has reached its peak.
When air pollution levels rise, people suffering from respiratory illnesses like asthma and bronchitis experience an aggravation of symptoms. High levels of pollution can even cause hypertension and increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Air pollution is really the latest threat to Indians!
Gases such as Sulphur dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Carbon dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, Ozone, and heavy metals like lead and particulate matter typically make up the pollution around you. One of the primary pollutants that had filled up the air in Delhi and had affected thousands was PM 2.5.
What is PM 2.5?
PM 2.5 is a fine particulate matter released during the combustion of fuel. It is known to affect a person’s health when its levels are high. The recent reading for this pollutant in the city of New Delhi as measured by the Air Quality Index (AQI) was around 170units mark, which is classified as hazardous.
Being a very tiny particle, it is able to travel deep into the respiratory tract, reach the lungs and cause respiratory problems. It is also known to cause throat and lung irritation, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and in some cases, even death.
This tiny particulate affects not just children, elderly, traffic police and motorcyclists but can also make healthy individuals sick.
As a precautionary measure, schools and colleges were shut, and those that remained open, reduced outdoor activities. People were asked to stay indoors during peak traffic hours as this was the time they were most likely to be affected. However, pollution levels had reached such hazardous levels that even staying indoors did not completely prevent exposure to PM 2.5 and other pollutants. Opening doors and windows even for a few minutes was enough to let a sizable amount of the pollutants fill up a home and affect the residents.
In such times, the best way to protect yourself and your family is in the following ways:
- Pay attention to the news and the air quality index daily, this will help you judge whether it is safe to head out or not.
- Keeping windows & doors closed will help you reduce the amount of pollution that enters your home and keep the air within fresh.
- Use an anti-pollution mask while heading outside to protect yourself from harmful gases and pollutants.
- Avoiding outdoor activities can help prevent excessive exposure to pollution.
- Use an indoor air purifier to keep out all possible pollution from your home.
Protect yourself and your loved ones from getting affected by the current air-pollution crisis. With Dr. Aeroguard you can #TakeADeepBreath and ensure that the healthiest air is in your room.