With the onset of winter, the pollution index has hit alarming levels in Delhi, leaving citizens under a thick blanket of smog. The average air quality index in Delhi and neighbouring areas stood at 466 on Sunday (today), according to Central Pollution Control Board’s 7 am weather bulletin.
Representational image. PTI
The national capital remained in the ‘severe’ category on Sunday morning despite Saturday seeing a marginal dip in pollution with an increase in wind speed.
In the National Capital Region (NCR), Ghaziabad, Noida and Greater Noida recorded AQIs of 455, 432 and 429, respectively, at 8 pm on Saturday.
An AQI between 0-50 is considered “good”, 51-100 “satisfactory”, 101-200 “moderate”, 201-300 “poor”, 301-400 “very poor”, and 401-500 “severe”. Above 500 is “severe-plus or emergency” category.
Amid concerns over the impact of the pollution, the Delhi government declared a holiday for schools in the city, while at least 32 flights have been diverted at the Delhi airport as a thick blanket of smog engulfed several parts of the city.
With the high levels of pollutants in the air, it is time Delhiites considered following some precautions to shield themselves from the hazardous weather. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has tweeted a list of guidelines for residents of Delhi that are aimed at protecting them from the rising pollution level.
– NDMA India (@ndmaindia) November 1, 2019
List of things to avoid doing:
1) Avoid strenuous activities and hard labour, as this forces one to inhale more and thus take in more harmful pollutants. If you have to exercise, avoid going out in the morning when the pollutants are at maximum in the air. Restrict your workout to your home or your neighborhood gym instead of going out.
2) Do not step out without wearing a reliable anti-pollution mask that can shield you from harmful pollutants floating in the air. Do not use surgical masks and comfort masks as they do not qualify to protect you from the hazardous particles. Buy the ones that are infused with latest filters and respirators.
3) Do not burn garbage, plastics and other discarded items in the outdoors. Stop neighbours from burning any such items either.
4) Do not use the bigger roads with more traffic. Pollution is relatively less on smaller roads than on main roads.
5) Avoid using agarbattis, mosquito repellent sprays or using camphor inside your home.
What to do to reduce the effect of air pollution:
1) Drink more water to flush out toxins and harmful particles from the body. Incorporate fruits like lemon, gooseberries, oranges, etc in your diet to make it rich with Vitamin C content. Citrus fruits can help boost your immunity and reduce the overall effects of air pollution on your body.
2) Inculcate the habit of carpooling with friends and colleagues or people travelling on the same route to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
3) Get your home a few air-purifying plants like tulsi, aloe vera, money plant, spider plants etc. These help in clearing the air of carcinogens (cancer-causing agent) including benzene and formaldehyde.