Amidst the news doing rounds on Delhi fighting for Air, everyone is keen on knowing the status of their city and preventive measures to tackle the pollution around. Well, I have been fortunate enough to breathe some of the cleanest air in the country, unlike many. Thanks to the mangroves, vertical gardens, unseasonal shower and Parsik Hill range across the lake city – Thane! However, not all are as lucky as the residents of Thane in Maharashtra or Eloor in Kerala. Therefore, all of us need to know how we can individually make a difference and fight air pollution. Here are a few preventive measures and emergency care you can follow to protect yourself from toxic air:
Avoid exercising outdoors: When the air is toxic, prefer exercising indoors in a gym or use an exercise machine at home. Also, I would suggest you to avoid intense exercises or heavy weight lifting as they require deep inhaling and exhaling, which could affect your health due to excess smog in the air. Smog can cause cold, pneumonia and even deadly pulmonary diseases such as lung cancer. To keep your children away from the devastating effects of smog, ask your kids to play outdoors only for a limited time if the pollution levels are high. However, engaging them in indoor games would be best during air pollution.
Stay away from high-traffic areas: High traffic areas or busy highways have high pollution levels that are likely to spread up to 1/3rd of a mile. Therefore, you should avoid activities around such areas. If at all you don’t have an option to avoid such routes to your office or home, then you can wear Masks N95 and Masks N99 as these are effective in protecting you from some pollutant particles.
Tobacco-free indoors: Say ‘NO’ to smoking indoors and equally support the initiatives for tobacco-free public places. Smoke not only adds to smog but also worsens the air quality around you. Besides that, passive smoking can be harmful to children causing them bronchial diseases.
Green Home: Keep small plants such as aloe vera, bamboo palm, snake plant, peace lilies and the likes of them in your home to purify the air indoors. Some of them like snake plant are effective enough to remove trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, and benzene pollutants from the air, which are common in homes and offices.
Stop burning wood or trash: Burning of wood and trash releases pollutants in the air. It is one of the major causes of air pollution in our country and must be stopped with immediate effect.
Only following the above tips won’t be enough for us to fight air pollution as they are only temporary or timely solutions. It is important for us to step up and take long term measures for fresh air in the near future too. So, plant trees like neem, peepal and bargad in your aangan for minimising the air pollution. Support the municipal corporations in growing vertical gardens at public places and planting trees alongside highways.
In short, breathe fresh air and help others including the NGOs and Government organisations to keep the air in our country clean. If you or your beloved one still experience severe heaviness in breathing, I would recommend you to dial 108 for emergency ambulance service to transport you to the nearest hospital for emergency care.