Come November, and Delhi starts facing its annual air pollution crisis. The situations are no better this time. The city was under a dense cover of smog for almost a week, starting from Diwali. System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) has predicted that Delhi’s AQI may drop from ‘very poor’ to ‘severe’ by Tuesday, 12 November 2019 as there has been an increase in stubble burning and a change in wind direction.
So what can us, the students do to save ourselves from inhaling this ‘poison’? Here are some guidelines issued by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and SAFAR:
For sensitive groups:
Try to avoid any heavy physical activities and asthmatic patients are advised to keep their medicines handy at all times. If any breathing discomfort is experienced, consult a doctor immediately.
- N-95 and P-100: Using a mask is the most basic and important preventive measure that needs to be taken. Masks known as N-95 and P-100 respirators will only help. They keep out toxic chemical pollutants and particulate matter that are present in the air.
- Avoid strenuous activities at early morning and after sunset: Excessive physical activities will result in higher inhalation of toxic air. Hence try to avoid prolonged activities like jogging, exercising outdoors and running. Instead, go for short walks and take sufficient breaks in between. Stop any such activity if you experience any difficulty in breathing, congestion or coughing.
- Keep the windows shut: This should be done especially during before sunrise and after sunset, as toxin levels are at their peak during these times. If the air conditioner provides a fresh air intake option, keep that closed.
- Air purifiers: Air purifiers are the new best friend. This little investment can go a long way to save your lungs. This is especially beneficial if you’ve experienced any trouble breathing or have a pet at home. Alternatively, you can opt for natural air purifiers like aloe vera and money plant
- Keep your surroundings clean: Avoid using vacuum cleaners. Use the traditional method of a wet mop. This will help reduce dust particles.
- Drink water: it is advisable to increase water intake. It will help to flush out the harmful toxins out of the body.
- Avoid burning: candles, wood, incense and cigarettes and crackers. The air we’re breathing is already equivalent to smoking 33 cigarettes a day. Let’s not add to it.
The authorities are trying their best to combat this emergency. Supreme Court has banned stubble burning as it is a direct violation of Right to Life. The government has imposed the odd-even scheme. However, it is crystal clear that these curative steps were taken a little too late when one could have easily foreseen this crisis . As a result, the onus is on us to take certain preventive measures to save ourselves from the possible harmful effects of this situation.