It is very much in news, and yet people out there, seem to be ignorant about it.
What is it? Illegal crop burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana, vehicle exhaust emissions in a city with limited public transport, and swirling construction dust have caused the crisis, which arises every year. (NDTV, November 9, 2017)
Delhi pollution level
Air quality index (AQI) at 7.30 am, November 9, was recorded at 468 (Severe category)
These steps have been taken so far:
Source: Economic Times, Nov 9, 2017
- The Delhi government has brought back odd-even plan to check rising pollution level in the capital. It will be implemented from Nov 13 and will end on Nov 17, and like last time two-wheelers and women drivers will be exempt.
- National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned construction and industrial activities in Delhi-NCR till November 14 , 2017.
- NGT has also directed directs civic bodies to constitute teams to ensure there is no burning of waste in Delhi-NCR. The green panel has also asked authorities to implement EPCA’s directions to improve ambient air quality.
- It has also directed sprinkling of water where PM 10 is found to be in excess of 600 micrograms per cubic metre.
- Schools in Delhi and Punjab remain shut till Sunday.
Source: Hindustan Times, Nov 9, 2017
- Environment ministry forms seven-member committee to monitor short-term and long-term solutions to air pollution, reports PTI (5:48 PM today)
- The odd even scheme will be implemented from 8 am to 8 pm.
- Banning trucks and closing schools have been taken in response to the worsening Delhi air quality.
Source: The Hindu, Nov 9, 2017
- Hike in parking fee by four times has been done to discourage own vehicle use.
- Issuing a slew of directions as immediate measures to control pollution in Delhi-NCR, the Delhi High court banned felling of trees, ordered sprinkling of water on roads to control dust and strict enforcement of construction code to ensure that the air is not polluted further.
Source :NDTV, November 9, 2017
- A Delhi government advisory has urged anyone with breathing difficulties to remain indoors and said everyone should avoid strenuous activity.
- PM 2.5 is particulate matter about 30 times finer than a human hair. The particles
can be inhaled deep into the lungs, causing heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and respiratory diseases. Delhi registered levels of over 600 today – 12 times over the safe limit.
Source : Indian Express, November 9, 2017
- The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) has sent notices to the Centre and the governments of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana in view of “life-threatening” pollution levels in the national capital and nearby regions. The rights panel criticised authorities for not taking proper steps to tackle the “hazard”, amounting to violation of right to life and health.
How to protect oneself from the harmful effects of smog?
Source: Economic Times, November 9, 2017
Indian Medical Association declared a ‘public health emergency’ in Delhi on November 7, 2017.
- Avoid cardio workout
- Get the right mask – Get a respirator that is rated N95/N99/FFP3 or is ‘NIOSH Approved’ that filters out more than 95% of particles (larger than 0.3 microns)
- Stay hydrated
- Don’t ignore sustained symptoms – Keep the allergy kit ready with required medicines, inhalers and nebulisers if you have a family member with respiratory illness.
- Invest in an air purifier
- Plant some natural air purifiers in your surroundings, like Aloe Vera and Spider Plant which suck up all the pollutants
- Consult doctor if symptoms persist – Exposure to bad air quality may lead to initial symptoms like coughing, irritation in eyes and nose, sore throat, asthma or wheezing, and tiredness. But prolonged exposure may have serious consequences on health causing stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even lung cancer. Asthmatic patients should carry their inhalers at all time.
Stay informed, stay protected.
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