New year is the season for new changes where you find people ditching their old, toxic habits for new and better ones. But unfortunately for us, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing a positive change in our surroundings in 2018. If you haven’t guessed already, we’re talking about the polluted air that we’ve been breathing in our city. Indian meteorological department’s forecast suggests that ‘severe’ air pollution is going to return in our National capital Region a.k.a New Delhi.
But it’s not just Delhi that has been affected by air pollution, 60% of the cities that were monitored in 2007 had ‘critical’ air quality. This increased to a staggering 88% in 2016. Only 2% of the monitored cities and towns had air quality that was classified as ‘good’. Apart from this, there also lies the fact that majority of the cities do not have real-time air pollution monitoring systems - Only 303 cities out of 6166 census cities and towns in India have air pollution surveillance.
Due to prevailing low -velocity winds and the befall of the atmospheric layer resulting in the mixture of air and pollutants close to the ground surface, you can expect a rise in the concentration of pollutants by the end of December, leading up to the new year.
A high-level task force has been appointed to take remedial measures to curb the toxicity surrounding the city. These include desulphurization of thermal plants in the NCR and the areas surrounding it, improving public transport, ensuring that there are no fires at landfill sites, the opening of Eastern Peripheral Expressway that heavy commercial vehicles heading towards places like Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh can use to avoid coming into the city.
The effects of air pollution are way beyond just respiratory illnesses. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics concluded that women who were exposed to severe air pollution around the time of conception were more likely to give birth to children with birth defects like cleft lip or abnormal heart valve. Especially if the mother is constantly exposed to fine particulate matter like PM 2.5 or PM 10, there was an increased risk of birth abnormalities.
Short-term effects like suffocation, irritability, decreased levels of concentration, attention span, and low IQ are all linked to air pollution.
Environmentalists and NGOs are voicing their concern over the dangers of air pollution that are only increasing each passing day. With so much happening in the country, staying indoors might seem like the only safe option. But did you know that the walls that keep you sheltered from the outside world could themselves be contributing to indoor air pollution? Asbestos which is one of the leading causes of indoor air pollution is found in paints, coatings, building materials, ceilings and floor tiles. Other common sources that reduce the air quality of your home are fuel-burning appliances like stoves, fireplaces, and heaters. Outdoor air is also bound to enter your housing through small cracks in the walls, ceilings, floors, opened doors and windows as a result of natural ventilation.
It is impossible to completely avoid coming into contact with polluted air but there are certain things you can do to improve the quality of the air indoors. Cleaning your house frequently so as to not allow the dust to accumulate on everyday things, painting the walls with lead-free paint, avoiding air fresheners and laundry products that contain synthetic fragrances are a few remedial measures.
Another important thing you need to do to make sure your family isn’t breathing polluted air is to get an air purifier which filters out the contaminants and pollutants present in the air around you.
Tinystep recommends Dr. Aeroguard air purifier which has a 9-stage purification process with Active HEPA filter, Anti-allergen filter, Anti-dust filter, Deodorization filter and a therapeutic filter which releases vitamin C into the atmosphere. It also releases vita-ions and diatoms which help in making the air cleaner and healthier. Dr. Aeroguard purifiers are the only ones in India that are certified by world-renowned German ‘GUI’ lab.
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