Use precautions to ward off the negative effects of toxic air pollutants. (Photo Credit: AFP)
Delhi, dubbed as a "toxic gas chamber" by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, woke up to a thick blanket of hazardous smog today morning. Most Delhiites complained of a burning sensation in the eye, coughing, dryness in throat, irritation in nose and itchy skin. Elders and children, who have lower immunity levels, complained of breathing issues. While the state government has taken a quick-fix measure of closing down the schools for junior students tomorrow, there are certain precautions that one can take to ward off the negative effects of toxic air pollutants:
1. Stay indoors:
Till the time air quality betters, exercise at home and avoid going out for morning and evening walks. If work-from-home option is available at your workplace, opt for it. Adjust your travel times and avoid going out during peak hours when the air pollution level is extremely high.
2. Stay covered up:
Air pollution is mixed with many irritants that come in contact with your skin and cause infections. Best is to wear full-sleeve clothes and also wash hands and face every few hours.
3. Eat healthy and drink lots of water:
Add jaggery, basil leaves and honey in your diet to bolster up your immune system. Eat a balanced and healthy diet and drink lots of water to flush off air pollutants that enter through your mouth and nose.
4. Keep indoor plants:
One of the easiest ways to naturally improve the air quality is to keep indoor plants in your house and workplaces. You can invest in easily available aloe vera plants, spider plants, snake plants, golden pothos, bamboo palm or weeping fig.
5. Buy a pollution mask:
Cover up your face using a good quality pollution mask. Medical experts have advised N95 and N99 pollution mask to be most effective. If a mask in unavailable, use a cloth to cover up your face.
6. Use closed vehicles, carpool:
One of the major reasons for air pollution is fuel emissions, so if the travel distance is not much, wear a pollution mask and take a walk or ride a bicycle. But if the distances are long, use close mode of public transport such as a bus or a metro. If this connectivity is poor, avoid going in open vehicles such as autos or two-wheelers and carpool instead.
7. Avoid smoking, burning candles:
Apart from curbing vehicular pollution, some of the necessary steps would be to minimise other sources of air pollution like cigarette smoke, burning candles, lighting a bonfire and use of woodstoves.
8. Avoid construction and going to construction sites:
If you are building a construction site, stall the process till air quality improves and also avoid going to a construction site and inhaling the dust particles.
9. Keep surroundings clean:
Pouring water outside your house instead of brooming can help settle the dust. Ensure the house is cleaned regularly, so as to avoid dust settling in.
10. Invest in a good air purifier:
If you have children, elderly or asthma patients at home, bringing home a good quality air purifier should be a priority.