Delhi Pollution: How to survive and safeguard yourself from the city’s toxic air

Here are are some simple measures we can take to ensure we are somewhat safeguarded from the deadly Delhi pollution.

Written by Soumya Mathew | New Delhi | Updated: November 3, 2016 9:08:45 pm
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With Diwali celebrations in the past and festive frenzy slowly reaching an end, people in Delhi are every day, waking up to hazy mornings. With the winters just around the corner, while some are trying to dismiss the sudden change in the atmosphere as fog, almost all of them know the truth — the adverse consequences of the noise and air pollution that our reckless cracker-bursting during Diwali caused.

The amount of crackers Delhi burst has made the air unbelievably toxic to breathe in, the PM (particulate matter) 10 levels have reportedly gone up to 999, exceeding the safe limit by 10 times. It is so alarming that we can actually see and smell the pollution around us. Which is why, it is absolutely important to take the necessary safeguards that will ensure we aren’t as affected by respiratory problems and other breathing troubles.

WATCH VIDEO: Death By Breath: Short Documentary On Indian Express’ Special Series On Delhi’s Pollution

Talking to, Dr Pankaj Pahwal, Chief Medical Officer at Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research, New Delhi, shares some simple measures that can be taken to ensure we are safeguarded, at least as much as possible.


* Ensure you eat properly for good immunity: It’s that time of the year when the season’s changing and with the added hazardous effects of pollution, many are susceptible to falling sick or at least catching a cold. It is important that you eat properly and keep yourself hydrated to ensure your immunity fights the diseases.

* Use a pollution mask every time you step out: To sit at home and relax is definitely not an option for many, but wearing pollution masks can minimise the risk of getting affected to a great extent. A mask should be good enough to  filter all the dust particles from the air you breathe in. While normal masks are effective enough, N95 and N99 pollution masks are recommended as the most effective ones. These pollution masks can be availed from the online shopping websites and even in your nearby chemist shops.

* Keep away from construction sites: Special precautions must be taken to control the dust produced at large construction sites.

* Wash the streets around your house: Roads must be washed instead of swept, to avoid throwing up more dust in the air. Washing the streets will settle the dust instead of blowing it into your nostrils.

* Grow and keep more plants: School textbooks have taught us how planting more trees help purify the air we breathe. Plants release oxygen, something which is absolutely essential for life to survive.

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* Get an air-purifier: With what are definitely alarming levels of toxic air, an air purifier is a recommended way to ensure you are safe. An average air purifier’s price ranges between Rs 5,000 and Rs 25,000, and are easily available on the various shopping websites.

* Avoid travelling in open transport: Avoid two-wheelers and use closed public transport and/or cars to travel.

* Don’t go out to exercise: Usually, we’d tell you to go out into the open and breathe lung fulls of air as you exercise, but these days, that’s the worst thing to do. Instead, stay home or go a gym that has an air purifier.

* Stay close to trees and greenery: If you practise yoga or meditation, preferably do it in places surrounded by trees and plants, which are excellent sources of oxygen.

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