- Haze and dust envelope Delhi for the fourth consecutive day
- Air Quality Index scores have already crossed the 500 mark
- Delhi air quality has now been termed 'hazardous'
Pollution levels in Delhi have been a cause of concern for a long time now; and in the past few days, the conditions have been becoming worse. For the fourth consecutive day, a thick cover of haze and dust envelopes the national capital and visibility continues to be poor. Citizens of the national capital have been issued health warnings about the environmental conditions outside and have been recommended to stay indoors. It is the circulating dust due to which the temperatures in Delhi continue to be high. The PM10 levels in Delhi were recorded at 820 and PM2.5 levels were at 320 which is being termed as an 'unhealthy score'. Experts have now termed Delhi air quality 'Hazardous'. The Air Quality Index scores have already crossed the 500 mark which is way beyond the severe air quality limit. Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan says that the poor air quality is due to dust storms in Rajasthan.
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While the human body is capable of eliminating some dust particles from entering their body, tiny particles like PM2.5 and PM10 cannot be eliminated. This can mess with overall respiratory health of people. In the past few months, the number of COPD and asthma cases has increased in the national capital. Amidst all this, it is extremely important for people to know how to take precautionary measures against the depleting air quality. But most importantly, people need to know just how they can keep themselves safe from the 'Hazardous' air quality.
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In a situation when the air quality has become bad enough to never step out without a mask, it is important for people to take note of some basic tips to stay safe from dust and pollution.
1. To begin with, experts recommend people to not step out of the house in the first place. Try to stay indoors as much as possible.
2. If you need to go out, never step out of the house without a mask, says respiratory care specialist Dr Himanshu Garg.
3. Dr Garg recommends people to wear an N95 mask while stepping out of the house. This is the most basic type of mask in such severely polluted conditions. Those dealing with COPD and asthma must use an N99 mask for better protection.
4. The masks must be replaced regularly; even an N95 mask would not last for more than two or three days.
But these are tips for outdoor air pollution. Little do people realize how detrimental indoor air pollution can be for their health? Yes, indoor air pollution can be more severe than outdoor air pollution. This is due to the fact that such form of pollution stays within your house and does not circulate. Due to this, it continues to get worse and detrimental for your health.
For indoor air pollution, here's a list of helpful tips.
1. Maintain regular dusting habits, clean every part of your room regularly.
2. Keep plants like jasmine, lavender, peace lily and snake plant inside your home. These plants can naturally clean the air in your room.
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3. If the air quality continues to get worse, use an air purifier.
4. Avoid wearing shoes indoors or smoking inside your house.
(Dr Himanshu Garg is Head of Department of Respiratory and Critical Care, Artemis Hospitals)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.