"I believe it's high time we should quit breathing", a fellow traveller joked about Delhi's air pollution.
I was recently traveling from the international terminal of New Delhi airport; the airport boasts of being the best airport in India & whole of Central Asia for customer service and facilities. But air pollution hasn't left this place untouched; the AQI index around the waiting area was about 310 (> 6 times the healthy levels).
Numerous posts are running on the degraded air quality and the reasons behind the same. Let's get deeper into it, and try to understand the simple body signals that suggest your exposure to foul air and the ways we can keep ourselves safe from this air pollution:
1. Eyes are burning
2. Watery eyes
4. Flu that refuses to go
5. Chest congestion and difficulty in breathing
Here are some things we can do to reduce air pollution in our own homes and to ensure that we protect ourselves against air pollution:
1. Be aware of daily AQI through APPs or data available at IQAir; this will help you to plan your outing timings and routes accordingly
2. Use an N95 mask whenever you are going outside and replace it with a new mask in a couple of usages
3. Completely leakproof your rooms so that there is zero/negligible infiltration of the outdoor air from the corner of windows, edges or ajar of doors into your rooms
4. Maintain a small level of negative pressure in your room (this can be quickly done by using a small ventilation fan and continuously pushing a small volume of indoor air from a leakproof room to outside).
5. Use a 360-degree Air-purifier to clean the indoor air in the room; negative pressure also helps in improving the filtration efficiency of the air-purifier
6. To bring down the indoor air pollutants build-up, bringing in fresh outdoor air is very important. Time the ventilation of the rooms according to the outdoor AQI levels and switch ON the air purifier. (In India, during winters, mostly 1 PM- 3 PM is the time of least AQI)
7. Because you may not be able to open your windows during winter for fear of letting the warm air out and increasing indoor air pollutants, you should invest in a high-quality dehumidifier this helps in easing out respiratory ailments.
8. Green tea & fruits contains high levels of antioxidants that can help counteract exposure to indoor air pollutants. These antioxidants react with the free radicals and toxins found in our polluted air to stop them from doing as much damage
9. Good to nurture some indoor plants; not only will they brighten up the space, but they have been proven to remove air pollutants and bring down CO2 levels by releasing oxygen
These are indeed some testing times for most parts of our country -- a Strong recommendation to have an active action plan to safeguard yourself for the next few months. Please write to Shubham Singh, Head of Product @ Ubreathe if you need any help with planning to pollution-proof your home.
Happy to help and advise always.