The capital city’s air pollution levels might soon trigger a crisis situation if adequate steps are not taken to control it.
It has been several days but the situation is nowhere close to being controlled. As severe dust storms hit the national capital and surrounding areas, there continue to be many casualties and health hazards reported daily. At the same time, air pollution due to manmade factors like vehicular traffic, industrial activities, indiscriminate burning etc. continues unabated. As a result of all these factors, Delhi air quality has taken a severe beating lately.
Since last year, alarm bells have been ringing about the state of Delhi’s air quality. Two years ago, the Delhi Government also tried the short-lived ‘Odd Even’ rule for vehicular traffic in the capital. Also, civic administrations have been advocating less polluting behaviours. However, since January 2017, Delhi air quality has been registering alarming levels of particulate matter, noxious gases, smoke and dust. As per WHO estimates, Delhi’s air quality has frequently peaked over the standard levels for safety since 2016.
The ill effects of air pollution
Air pollution is one of the underlying reasons for a host of health problems in all living beings. The poor Delhi air quality leaves the national capital at risk of:
* Respiratory disorders: The first ill effect of rising air pollution is a corresponding rise in respiratory and bronchial disorders. These can be short term at first, with the disorder correcting itself when the exposure to pollution is reduced or eliminated. However, prolonged exposure can result in chronic bronchial disorders that may take years to treat.
* Skin and eye infections: Another ill effect of the poor Delhi air quality is a spate of skin and eye infections. You may develop rashes, allergies and blisters on your skin, as also premature aging and wrinkles. Meanwhile, the eyes can suffer watering, dullness, or infections arising from particulate matter entering the eyes.
* Nerve and brain damage: The air pollutants are ingested inside the system through the nose. They settle in the lungs, or may even be absorbed by the system. Over time, these pollutants change the composition of the cells, thereby endangering the nerves and brain tissues.
* Heart disease: A hidden result of prolonged exposure to air pollution is that it can cause heart disease over the long term. You might attribute it to other factors, but if you are relatively healthy and there is no history of heart disease in the family, then you must check if air pollution is the culprit.
It is important to cut exposure to rising air pollution in the city. It might not always be possible to take short breaks owing to your busy schedule, but do make it a point to escape to the countryside with its clean air to let the pollution make its way out of your system. You can also wear the Dettol SiTiShield air mask to eliminate the possibility of breathing in pollutants.