If you live in New Delhi and NCR, it is impossible for you to have missed the thick smog that has enveloped the capital after Diwali. The pollution levels are so high that you can see the haze and smell the hazardous air. For the fourth consecutive day, pollution levels are multiple times higher than the safe levels.

The System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) as claimed that levels of Particulate Matter (PM) 10 reached a record 500 mark on Wednesday and are likely to remain severe on Thursday as well.

pollution-level

PM 2.5 is a fine particulate matter which can be inhaled deep into the lungs. They may cause heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and respiratory diseases.

Several people are complaining of breathing problems, coughing, infections, itching in the eyes and headache due to the bad air quality. While stepping out of Delhi to avoid the air is a good option, it is not feasible for all. So, here are immediate and effective steps that we must take to deal with this toxic air that we are inhaling.

Using air Purifiers: Gone are those days when air was free. With pollution levels alarmingly high, it is becoming almost mandatory to buy purifiers to breathe pure air. Expensive no doubt, but it seems there is no option left with people who are living in a blanket of smog. They are easily available in the market in a wide range starting from Rs 3,000 to Rs 25,000.

Pollution masks: While purifiers are not something that can be carried wherever you go, masks is the cheap and effective measure that can be taken to avoid the pollution. A high-quality mask can filter out airborne particles which are as small as PM 2.5.

Potted plants: Buying plants may help pollution levels around your home. They can stop the movement of dust and pollutants and be a valuable weapon in the fight against rising levels of indoor air pollution. Even NASA scientists had recently claimed that they have found indoor plants useful in absorbing potentially harmful gases and cleaning the air inside homes, indoor public spaces and office buildings. Money plant is one of the easiest available plants that can be put to use to reduce pollution.

Avoid peak traffic hours: Several offices these days give an option of work from home. But if not possible, people should avoid peak traffic hours as pollution levels rise during those timings. It is also advisable to go for carpools and avoid taking two wheelers to skip the bad air.

Avoid infections: Moisturizing your body through oils or creams can keep particulate matter and other dust particles far away from you. Dry skin is more prone to infections and dust.