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New Delhi encapsulated in dust, chokes and struggles to breathe

According to the WHO, 92% of the world's population lives in areas where the air quality is below the WHO standards.

Sudden Dust storms have become a regular occurrence in the National Capital Region, causing the pollution levels to rise phenomenally. The concentration of coarser 'particulate matter 10' has reached the 'severely high' stage, whereas the concentration of 'particulate matter 2.5' is still at the 'very poor' stage. According to the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, the current pollution (consisting mainly of PM 10) is very different from that of winter pollution (which consists of PM 2.5). It is the atmospheric dust pollution, which has shot up. This has occurred as strong, anti-cyclonic winds are being channeled from North West India, because of which a lot of dust is coming in from Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.

Dr Avi Kumar, Consultant, Pulmonology at Fortis Escorts Hospital, Okhla Road talks about air pollution and how we can protect ourselves from its harmful effects.

Preventive measures:

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- People should avoid going outdoors along with doing physical activities like cycling, jogging or any other outdoor exercises.

- N95 masks should be used if it is necessary to go out.

- Air Purifying plants such as Aloe Vera, Ivy and Spider Plant can be placed in the home and offices.

- To ensure that indoor air pollution does not take place make sure there is a chimney in the kitchen and an exhaust in the bathroom. Read: Why do we get sleep dust or eye mucus and is it healthy?

- Consume Fruits rich in Vitamin C, Magnesium , Foods rich in Omega Fatty Acids

- Have Herbal Ginger & Tulsi tea. Read:5 herbal teas to relieve tension-induced headaches

Air pollution poses a major health risk and can cause stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases. 88% of premature deaths occur in the low- and middle-income countries, where air pollution is escalating at an alarming rate. According to UNICEF, 1 in 7 children are breathing polluted air. Governments and civil society bodies need to join hands to fight air pollution in a systematic and strategic manner.

Source: Press release

Image Source: Shutterstock

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