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Posted: 05 Nov 2019 By: Rashi Chaudhary

The Do's and Don'ts to Combat Delhi-NCR Air Pollution

Air quality in Delhi-NCR has become severe since Diwali celebrations. People are facing various health issues and breathing problems due to the toxic hazy air. According to a recent report in the Indian Express, several locations in Delhi hit the 500 mark of Air quality index, meaning that the quality of air has become hazardous for the citizens and visitors in Delhi.

Isn’t it disheartening to hear that such deteriorating air quality has become the biggest threat to the welfare of the people in Delhi-NCR? Keeping that in mind, we’ve done some research and outlined a few do’s and don’ts to follow for combating air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

For those who have little to no understanding of the current crisis, we’re going to begin with a clear understanding of the public health emergency in Delhi-NCR.

Why Is There an Air Pollution Crisis in Delhi-NCR?

The main contributing factors to the current air pollution crisis can be summed up as:

  • A large number of crackers have burst this Diwali in spite of a ban on their sale, contributing to a disturbing effect on the air quality index
  • Although the government has announced a ban on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, these crop residue burning activities have still been recorded across neighbouring states, adding to the toxic haze in Delhi-NCR
  • Dust from construction work is also responsible for making the air quality poor
  • Excessive use of private vehicles plays a key role in worsening air quality
  • Harmful pollutants like lead, mercury, carbon monoxide, etc. released from coal-based industries are also increasing dust and pollution in the air that is negatively affecting human health and the environment

To control air pollution and protect the health of the people in Delhi and surrounding areas, the government has taken a few steps in this direction.

What Are the Steps Taken by the Government to Reduce Air Pollution?

The government has taken a couple of measures to reduce air pollution, which you can find below:

  • Night-time construction was prohibited from 6 pm to 10 am until November 2.
  • Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, has distributed face masks to private and government schools in order to maintain the children’s health
  • Schools in Delhi-NCR have been shut down until November 5th after a public health emergency was declared
  • There was a ban on coal-based industries and barring power plants in Faridabad, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Sonepat, and Bahadurgarh
  • Farmers in Punjab and Haryana are banned from burning agricultural residues
  • Industries that have not shifted to piped natural gas in Delhi will remain closed until the situation goes back to normal
  • To reduce air pollution, an odd-even scheme has made a comeback in Delhi, starting from November 4 until November 15
  • Since you’re here to help curb air pollution, let’s learn a few ways to do such a thing.

Do’s for Combating Air Pollution

Here are some things you can do to reduce air pollution:

  • Carpool: Carpooling is, by far, the easiest way to reduce traffic-based air pollution. Take an initiative and share four-wheeled vehicles with family, friends, or colleagues.
  • Wear face masks: Cover your mouth with a mask whenever you step out of the house to stay protected from toxic air that causes breathing problems, lung damage, headaches, dizziness, and numerous other health problems. Spend more time inside the home to stay away from health issues, if possible.
  • Use public transportation: Maximize the usage of public transportation like busses and the metro instead of private vehicles when you’re combating air pollution.
  • Use a bicycle: Use a bicycle if you live near your workplace. Not only will this help reduce air pollution, but will also make you fit and healthy.
  • Follow the three R’s: Bring a positive change in your lifestyle by following the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. A large number of polluting particles are emitted in the air from making items like paper, plastic, glass, etc. For this reason, abide by this rule to enhance air quality.
  • Follow a healthy diet: As discussed before, the toxic air quality gives rise to a handful of health problems. Therefore, we urge all of you to follow a healthy and balanced diet filled with fresh green veggies and fruits.

Besides what’s above, you can also add the following foods into your everyday diet to make it more nutritious:

  • Fresh and chemical-free juices, either regular juice or cold-pressed juice
  • Smoothies made with fresh fruits and veggies
  • Yogurt
  • Whole grain items like brown rice, whole grain bread, oats, etc.
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Drink plenty of water: Keeping yourself hydrated is the most important thing to consider during the current scenario. To this end, drink a lot of water (at least 7-8 glasses every day). It is also advised to drink lemon water, coconut water, and fresh vegetable or fruit juice.
  • Exercise: Follow an active lifestyle to strengthen your immune system and fight off various diseases. Keep in mind that you don’t need a gym membership; you can do everything you need at home or anywhere else you feel comfortable.
  • Consult a doctor: If you feel trouble breathing, unusual coughing, chest discomfort, nausea, fatigue, etc. book an appointment with your doctor immediately to ensure safety.

Don’ts for Combating Air Pollution

Just like there are things you can do to combat air pollution, there are things you should not do to achieve the same results:

  • Don’t burn waste: Avoid burning things like garbage, tires, wood, candles, or any other item that can add to the dropping air quality.
  • Close your windows: Air quality inside the home is less toxic than outside. Keep your windows and doors closed until things go back to normal.
  • Limit your walks: Avoid early morning and late evening walks, as the concentration of pollution is maximum at this time.
  • Refrain from long cardio exercises: Long cardio exercises outside may cause respiratory problems. For those who suffer from breathing problems, cardio exercises are a big no.

Final Thoughts

Despite air pollution being one of the main causes of concern across the world, many people are not willing to take necessary steps to control air pollution. Being a responsible citizen should be our responsibility and we should do as much as we can not only for our city or country, but also for the entire ecosystem. Always remember that it’s the small steps that can make the biggest difference.

Disclaimer: The recommended tips above are opinionated and based on the suggested measures from experts in the field.

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