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Air Pollution And Public Health - The Challenges For India!

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, MD - Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases / Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Delhi  •  19 years experience
Air Pollution And Public Health - The Challenges For India!

India's capital Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Though Kanpur, another Indian city, is the most polluted city in the world, Delhi is also among the top 10 polluted cities with a higher concentration of PM 2.5.

India is progressing in many fronts, but the country remains stagnant when it comes to air pollution control. As per the latest records, amongst the top 20 polluted cities on earth, 13 of them are in India. According to the World Health Organization’s Air quality guideline, the particulate matter (PM 2.5) should not be greater than 25 μg/m3 for 24 hour-mean and 10 μg/m3 for annual mean. However, surprisingly, Delhi had an average of 153 micrograms per cubic metre in its air.

Delhi's air is already causing harmful effects on the lungs and alveoli due to the increased number of pollutants in the air. It is causing severe lungs damage to children residing in Delhi. More than 4.4 million children in Delhi are now suffering from chronic lung conditions.

Causes

The reason attributed to this problem is the increased number of vehicles on the road, diesel generators, and coal factories surrounding the national capital. More than 20,000 vehicles are added every day in the country. Harmful gasses like Nitrous Oxide, Carbon Monoxide, and Carbon Dioxide has poisoned the air beyond revival.

It’s a false belief that we will be safer if we stay inside our homes rather than if we are outside harbours. The indoor air isn’t any different than outdoor air. This is because the level of PM 2.5 particles in the indoor and outdoor air is unchanged. The PM 2.5 particles, the major reason for diseases like Bronchitis, COPD and Asthma, are found as much in the indoor air as outside the doors. The diameter of these particles ranges from 0.5 nanometers to 2.5 nanometers, giving it the name PM 2.5, and in order to fight the indoor air pollution crisis, we have to find a way to break down these particles.

Solution

The only way to cut down this pollution is by bringing significant lifestyle changes in our daily living. We should concentrate more on using public transport instead of private vehicles. Cutting down the number of diesel and petrol vehicles can also prove helpful. People should shift to CNG and electric vehicles for daily commutation. These efforts, if practised on a regular basis, can bring a huge decrease in pollution.

Air purifiers can also be a healthy option for indoor purposes.

Conclusion

The pollutants in Delhi as well as India’s air are increasing and we aren’t safe even if we are behind the closed doors. The only way to battle this problem is getting an air purifier that will break down harmful particles in the air that are responsible for diseases.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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