Delhi Air Pollution Facts.Tips To Protect Your Health This Diwali.
For the past 5-6 years, Diwali in Delhi is all about air pollution. Delhi has gone ahead of Beijing and Dhaka which till recently were among the top most polluted cities in the world. The combination of smoke and fog better known as SMOG grips the city every year leading to various harmful effects on the health of the general public. Even after Diwali is gone, the public continues to be exposed to the health hazards of this toxic air in the months that follow. The air pollution has reached such high levels in the past few years that the city was once equated with a “gas chamber” by Mr. Manish Sisodia, Delhi’s very own Deputy Chief Minister.
November and December are the peak tourist months in New Delhi which also coincides with peak levels of air pollution. But if you look at Indian Government Tourism websites or tourism offices, no warning or any precautionary information is given about the same.
So what a person like you, who is planning to visit or has landed in Delhi this festive season should do to save yourself from the deadly effects of air pollution.
With time, air pollution has become a big health hazard in Delhi. But if you are well informed about the relevant facts related to air pollution,you can protect your health from this menace.
In the subsequent sections of this blog, you will get some useful information about air pollution and some tips to keep you and your family members safe from its toxic effects. So by the time you finish this blog, you will be much better prepared to face this issue when you land in Delhi.
What is smog and how it is produced?
Smog is one of the most toxic and visible types of air pollution. It is produced when various air pollutants (nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds (VOC)) released from automobiles, factories, react in the presence of sunlight, leading to the formation of fine visible airborne particles.
Why every year Delhi faces severe air pollution in the Diwali season?
Delhi which is already choked with emissions of fuel consumption from motor vehicles and industries receives additional blows in this part of the year. These problems are both environmental and man-made.
As the monsoon season ends, the lower layers of atmosphere start trapping the pollutants and dust particles, because the moisture in the air decreases and the winds die down.
The illegal practice of burning of crop stubble/residue by the farmers in the neighboring states of Punjab, Haryana, U.P., is one of the foremost reasons why Delhi suffers from harmful effects of air pollution in November and December every year. Recently Delhi Government have shared NASA satellite images of burning of crop residue (despite ban by supreme court) in the capital and the near buy areas.
The burning of firecrackers by the whole city to celebrate Diwali also hurts the air quality.
Which population is at the maximum risk?
How air pollution harms your body and your overall health?
- Throat irritation
- Decreased lung function
- Exacerbation of asthma
- Increased risk of lung infection and bronchitis
- Risk of Heart attack increases with continuous exposure
- Increased risk of Heart failure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Itching and redness of the skin
- Risk of Skin cancer increases
- Dizziness and confusion
- Tearing of eyes
How you can save your loved ones from this menace?
However, still, we would say, the best and the most effective solution is to AVOID TRAVELLING TO DELHI IN DIWALI SEASON till the Government and the people find a permanent solution to this grave health problem.
Dr. Rishab Sharma
Dr. Rishab Sharma MBBS, MD (Internal Medicine) He is associated with Fortis Escorts Hospital, Jaipur. Dr. Rishab has wide experience in managing a variety of diseases, as well as managing critical care units in large government and corporate hospitals.