Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) are grappling with severe air pollution, a situation that has escalated to alarming levels. The Air Quality Index (AQI) has recorded hazardous readings, with certain areas like Mundka witnessing an AQI as high as 498. When AQI levels range from 400 to 500, it poses a significant threat to public health1.
The most dangerous pollutants include PM2.5, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides. The particulate matter, especially prevalent during November and December, combines with vehicle smoke, dust, and toxins to form smog, which is particularly toxic and hazardous for all age groups. The health impacts of this severe pollution are extensive:
To mitigate these effects, several measures are recommended
A survey in the Delhi-NCR region found that around 75% of households are experiencing health complications like sore throat, cough, and burning eyes due to poor air quality. About 40% of residents reported breathing difficulties or asthma-like conditions, with others experiencing runny nose, congestion, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and headaches. In response, many residents have started consuming food to boost immunity and wearing anti-pollution masks, though about 20% do not plan to take any action. The primary causes of this pollution include stubble burning in neighboring states, road and construction dust, vehicle emissions, and industrial pollution.
The situation in Delhi and NCR is a significant health concern, and residents are advised to take proactive steps to protect themselves from the harmful effects of air pollution.
Dr. Bandana Mishra, Head of the Department and Senior Consultant
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