We can protect ourselves from things that we are aware of. But what about things we are not sure of? How do we protect ourselves from something which we don’t have a clue about? Air pollution during travel is one such thing. As summer vacation is right around the corner and many of us would have already made our plans for it well in advance, ensure that you are aware of what you are going to be dealing with regards to air quality. While you may know the air quality levels of the places you deal with on a daily basis, you may ignore or undermine its impact while you are traveling. It would make sense to you at that instant.” I am not going to be around for long; why should I worry?” “I am just passing by this place; it won’t impact me.” Sounds reasonable right? But you are mistaken. Poor air quality has often been a  major health hazard for travelers,and its impact can be seen even when exposed for a short duration. This is because your body would be accustomed to a certain level of pollution and a certain concoction of particulate matter. Coupled with the fact that you may also take precautionary measures to avoid exposure everyday, the impact would be less and tolerable. However, each city would have a different air quality level based on the kind of emissions and pollutants present therein. So here are few tips that you must keep in mind when you pack your bags for your much-awaited summer vacation this year. Do your research well in advance: Before you start packing, know the place you are traveling to. What is the average air quality there? What are the potential sources of pollution that you need to be wary of? Is it too populated/crowded and busy? Doing your research would help you analyze the precautionary measures you need to take to minimize exposure. Have a reliable source to track air quality while you are traveling: It is advisable to carry a reliable air quality monitor or have an app in your mobile that can help you monitor and keep a watch on the air quality levels of the places you visit. While there are various data sources available online, they might not give you a comprehensive list of every possible pollutant. Go for a device and app that can help you monitor that most common and hazardous pollutants that can impact your health. Take your medicines and get yourself tested: Senior citizens and babies are too vulnerable to bad air quality,and hence proper precautions are necessary if you are traveling with them. Take all relevant medicines required for the journey and also get a medical confirmation for the older adults in your family for travel fitness. If they have preexisting respiratory conditions get their lung capacity tested well in advance. Get a basic understanding on pollution masks and invest in the right kind depending on your travel location: Every respiratory mask available in the market is different, and you must know what you need before investing in one since this is going to be the most affordable and fool-proof measure to protect yourself from bad air quality. Monitor the air quality level around you at all times and avoid going out when it is extreme. Make your travel plans keeping the air quality level in mind and have a backup plan if condition worsens.Don’t let bad air quality spoil your vacation plans. Follow this link to check out our air quality monitoring app and do check out this space for more updates and data on air quality. Happy vacations!
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