Everyone in the media is feeding a lot of information about crackers, government, sentiments of the festival and air-pollution. How did this air pollution become so political all of a sudden? Just about a couple of years ago, nobody thought that this will be a topic that will be discussed in Supreme Court, in Parliament and that there will be a law for bursting crackers that would make one end up in jail for doing so. 

We are not going to talk about any of that or about the nitty gritties about how horribly bad the air quality is in many parts of India. There is enough negativity out there already. Delhi ofcourse takes prime stage, its the capital of the country (Duh!), but most of North India is polluted to its brim. People are unknowingly choking and every breath that they take is bringing them one step closer to a very harmful and deadly permanent physical ailment.

But lets discuss remedies for once (atleast) when the world is busy about the problem statement only.

Everyone is talking about the intensity of air pollution, how bad it is and everyone are scared about it, there is no information about the exact numbers and to add to it there is lack of solutions for a problem this large and global. Especially those mothers with young children, those elderly who still are catering to their responsibilities, those who are concerned with the next generation are affected by it. Government is clueless on how to tackle this problem. In times like these, what can you do? You can’t turn your back on this. Hence we are putting out a few steps that you can follow and reduce the impact of air pollution

Know this : a lot of articles talk about following a diet, wearing a mask, drinking Tulsi or Ginger etc., – do you really think any of this is practical?, useful? effective? Do let us know but we highly doubt it makes it any better. 

Lets break down the components of air pollution and come up with ways on how to deal with them and stay protected.

1. Dealing with PM2.5:

PM2.5 is the number 1 carcenogenic that is of the size of one tenth of human hair. Its invisible, and body has no natural way to get rid of it once it gets into our system. Whatever is in the air that we breathe, gets into our blood stream. Imagine dust flowing to your body parts! Lets deal with this first.

a. Clean all curtains and window panes, everyday. Wash curtains once a week. 
b. Close all windows in the evening 5 hours before you go to bed. Lock the bed-room and do not enter it for about 4 hours and let particulate matter settle
c. Place wet cloth all over your room so PM2.5, PM1 and PM10 will settle on the wet cloth
d. Remove wet cloth and mope the floor. 
c. Keep your AC Clean. Power it on and let it remain in sleep mode

This will ensure PM2.5 is minimal. Turn on an air purifier if you have one. Use a PM2.5 sensor to measure air pollution, especially if you have children. The PM2.5 reading should be under 40. 

2. Dealing with CO

CO should be a concern if you live close to a busy street. CO is emitted mostly out of burning something, more so when you burn Diesel (along with SO2, NO2). Its colorless, odourless and extremely harmful. (dont want to talk about how harmful as it takes away the essence of this blog)

a. Dont have anything at home that burns anything. From Tobacco burning (in cigars, cigarettes etc., ) to burning wood, garbage around the house, heater furnaces, also can cause CO accumulation at home.

b. CO can cause flu. Identify if you are already affected by CO.

Identifying CO poisoning can be difficult because the symptoms are similar to the flu. CO is often called the “silent killer” because people will ignore early signs and eventually lose consciousness and be unable to escape to safety. 

For most people, the first signs of exposure include mild headache and breathlessness with moderate exercise. Continued exposure can lead to more severe headaches, dizziness, fatigue and nausea. Eventually symptoms may progress to confusion, irritability, impaired judgment and coordination, and loss of consciousness.

You can tell the difference between CO poisoning and the flu with these clues:

  • You feel better when you are away from home
  • Everyone is the home is sick at the same time (the flu virus usually spreads from person to person)
  • The family members most effected spend the most time in the house
  • Indoor pets appear ill
  • You don’t have a fever or body aches, and you don’t have swollen lymph nodes that are common with the flu and some other infections
  • Symptoms appear or seem to get worse when using fuel-burning equipment
c. Keep a CO alarm or a device that tells you when CO is high. If its CO entering indoor from vents, then keep them closed. ACs do not filter CO. Avoid turning AC on during those times d. Check if there is someone burning garbage or using a diesel generator in the neighborhood. Chances are that this is what is causing the problem. Alert the authorities if that is the case

3. Dealing with Smog

Smog is comprised of NO2, SO2, O3, CO2 and other Volatile organic components like HCHO (Formaldehyde), Benzene etc., When these combine with eachother due to drop in temperature they form SMOG. It makes you feel like its a beautiful winter fog in your city that you are so proud of. But its a black, poisonous, fatal and ugly smog! Dont be all so happy about it, it kills millions of people every day.

  • Traveling in closed vehicles is recommended when going out of home. You can also buy a portable car air purifier to ensure that your vehicle stays protected from PM and VOC.
  • Buy a mask which offers protection from PM5 pollutants, wear it when out in open public spaces.
  • Buy a portable or a home air purifier for protection from indoor air pollution Air purifiers that come with HEPA filters offer the best results in clearing out pollutants from the ambient air.
  • Getting some indoor plants such as Aloe Vera, Indian Basil and Spider Plant is also a good idea, as these plants offer protection from formaldehyde and benzene pollutants.
  • Keep the children and elderly from engaging in outdoor and strenuous activities on smoggy days. 
  • Do not go to Gym if you are in Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Agra, Lucknow, Kanpur etc., Do nothing cardio-intensive workouts 
  • Use a Smog detector device that will tell you when to workout.

These are the main air pollutants that hurt people. There is barely any breathable air left. Hence do not burn anything, do not burn garbage, which accounts for 12% of air pollution during winters in cities like Delhi. Crackers are once a year thing, but garbage burning is continuous.

Do not burn anything. Everytime you light that match stick, you take away 5 minutes of breathable air. You burn garbage, all that garbage you burn will become a permanent part of your body. It doesn’t go anywhere.

And always, being aware helps. Thats why we built the air pollution app

You can also check air quality around you using Global Air Pollution powered by Ambee’s air quality api