10 Tips on How to Protect Yourself from Air Pollution


The alarming air pollution levels in Delhi and neighbouring regions have been in the news throughout the past week. The thick smog that has descended across the capital and its neighborhood is now being called a public health emergency. Air pollution by itself is responsible for numerous respiratory and cardiac ailments such as asthma, lung cancer, and heart attacks. Children are all the more prone to air pollution related diseases. Positive action is better than despairing about the situation. Here are some effective tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from air pollution and minimize the damages –

  1. Stay Aware and Alert – The greatest precaution you can take to protect yourself and your family is to stay aware and alert at all times. Look up the Air Quality Index in news reports each morning, download applications that will bring you air pollution updates each day. Follow all the advisory alerts issued by the government and keep the children home if schools remain shut.
  2. Go Green – One of the best ways to combat increasing levels of toxicity in the air is by cultivating various indoor plants which are often referred to as “oxygen bombs”. Join all community efforts to plant trees and combat deforestation. Organize neighbourhood drives and school clubs into tree planting drives. Teach the kids the value of living in harmony with the environment.
  3. Get An Air Purifier – Buying a good quality air purifier for your home and your office is a valuable investment. A number of newer models of air purifiers are a fantastic investment claim to reduce PM 2.5 levels considerably and also suck up the dust in the room. What is better is that with increase in sales the prices of these devices are falling.
  4. Avoid Going Out In The Mornings And Evenings – Avoid morning and evening walks or jogging activities as these are the times with highest amount of air pollution. Avoid the highly industrial parts of your city as far as possible. Avoid driving through polluted streets during peak traffic hours. Mid-day and afternoons are best for airing out your rooms and light outdoor activities as pollution levels are lower.
  5. Use High-quality Mask – Buy and use a high quality face mask, preferably one that comes with an N 90 or N 95 certification.  N 90 and N 95 certifications simply mean that these air masks are capable of filtering out between 90 and 95 percent of the pollutants in the air when you are wearing them.
  6. Quit Smoking –At a time when we’re worried about the hazardous levels of pollutants and particulate matter in the air, when we’re worried about respiratory diseases caused by the smog, it makes no sense whatsoever to expose your innards to over 4000 toxins that go into a cigarette. Quit smoking – if not for your own sake, for the sake of your dear ones.
  7. Adopt Nature-Friendly Living – Adopting an environment friendly lifestyle, such as reducing use of plastics, will go a long way in reducing air pollution. One of the easiest changes we can make to our lifestyle is organizing ourselves into car pools and switching over to energy efficient fuel and solar energy.
  8. Eat Healthy – Switch to a diet full of nutrients that will impart a big boost of immunity to your body. Foods rick in beta carotenes and Vitamin A. Whole grains, fish, eggs, butter, carrots, fresh fruits, and liver are rich in minerals and vitamins that help in protecting the respiratory tracts and lungs. Foods rich in antioxidants help in inhibiting cancer and numerous other diseases.
  9. Avoid Crackers, Bonfires, and Burning Trash – With the onset of winter the burning of stubble by the farmers across North India is the greatest cause of air pollution in the region. What we can do to protect ourselves and our families is not add to the already polluted air by bursting crackers or burning trash. Bonfires are a great temptation but do not give in. Dispose trash in appropriate bins
  10. Spread The Word – Much of the air pollution in India’s large cities is caused by ignorant people and unsafe practices such as burning plastics and holding open bonfires. Talk to your friends, colleagues, neighbourhood societies. Create awareness about air pollution. Talk to your local representative and take a stand on legislations that allow harmful practices. In the world of Social Media, spread the word.