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Diwali - How the Rise in Pollution Level Affects Your Health?

Dr. Hemant Kalra 87% (211 ratings)
MBBS, MD -Pulmonary Medicine-Tuberculosis ,Respiratory Disease Medicine , Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD), European Diploma in Respiratory Medicine
Pulmonologist, New Delhi  •  22 years experience
Diwali - How the Rise in Pollution Level Affects Your Health?

The festival of Diwali is greeted with great pomp and splendour and along with the regular festivities, the pollution levels in the air also rise due to the ritual of bursting fire crackers. In an analysis, the rise of harmful pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide seemed to reveal a disturbing outcome.

The rise in pollution during Diwali affects you in the following ways:

  1. The PM (particulate matter which is smaller than 2.5mm) enters your lungs (learn more about lung cancer) and bloodstream and has several health impacts including chronic respiratory symptoms such as painful breathing and shortness of breath which might cause premature death.
  2. High sulphur dioxide levels in the air during Diwali also lead to inflammation of air passages and causes complications in respiration.
  3. A compound called ‘strontium’ found in the atmosphere multiplies by 120 times during the festival and causes bone damage and blood clotting ailments.
  4. Firecrackers contain heavy metals which are toxic to the human body and the amount of magnesium in the air goes up by 22x, which poses a significant threat to all forms of life.
  5. The noise pollution also rises during the festival and in extreme cases, can permanently damage one’s hearing.

However, there are a few measures you can undertake to steer clear of the excessive pollutants present in the air:

  1. Limit the amount of time you spend outdoors even while exercising. This is because the air remains contaminated, days after all the festivities get over and the pollutants take a very long time to dissipate.
  2. Even on the road, drive with the windows of your car rolled up to avoid intake of adulterated air and use a face mask if you are a two-wheeler rider.
  3. Plant a lot of green plants inside your house as they purify the air you are breathing and ensure a supply of fresh oxygen.
  4. Install an air purifier in the room to make sure you breathe in fresh, uncontaminated oxygen when you sleep. The air purifier will also help in lessening your respiratory complications.

Also, in case you notice any respiratory or breathing problem, it is advisable that you consult a pulmonologist, to rule out serious health issues. 

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