Posted - 4 November 16

7 Methods to stay protected from air pollution in winters

Atlanta Healthcare

Views: 4191

It is no surprise that air pollution has been on an all-time high since the Diwali celebrations. The AQI levels have been soaring between 1000-1300 every day. The air pollution scenario in India is only going to get worse with the onset of winters.

Temperature Inversion, a phenomena that occurs during winters where the cold air is trapped by a layer of warm air. This phenomenon also traps the air pollutants closer to the ground due to which it becomes visible to naked eyes in the form of smog.

Although, high air pollution can’t be controlled in a day. You can definitely control how much should you get affected by it.

We have compiled 9 effective ways to keep yourself and your loved ones protected from the rising air pollution.

1. Check Air Quality before stepping out


The first step in protection from air pollution is monitoring the air quality. It is very essential that you monitor the air quality at all times to be aware of the things that you are breathing along with much required oxygen.

There are several air quality monitoring application through which you can keep a constant watch on the air quality in your area. It is crucial that you check AQI level before stepping out of your house. One such app is AirVisual that constantly shows you data from various air quality monitoring stations set up in India.

2. Avoid Traffic Congested Areas

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Air Pollutants are present in high concentration at places with high vehicular emission. Everybody seems to be in a rush to go to either work or school. Amid all the chaos on the road, what you would always forget is that you are being exposed to extreme air pollution. The amount of pollutants that you would be breathing while waiting for the traffic signal to go green would be immensely high.

NO…rolling up your windows is not the solution. Sorry to Disappoint You!

If you are traveling by a four wheeler with rolled up windows, you are still being exposed to air pollution. THINK ABOUT IT….when you roll up your car windows, the polluted air still gets inside your vehicle through the air conditioning ducts. There is always constant air circulation happening inside your car and you are breathing in the air pollutants without knowing about them at all.

If you are travelling by a two wheeler then we would have to squash your idea of wearing a handkerchief or any cloth around your face for that matter. Handkerchiefs or cloth materials cannot prevent you from being exposed to particulate matters which are as small as 0.3 microns.

The only way to keep yourself protected is by avoiding the highly congested traffic areas, even if it means taking the longer route. Let’s be SAFE than being SORRY!

3. Avoid stepping out of your house in the evening


Air quality usually worsens during the evening and it is not advisable to go anywhere outside the house during this time. Yes you might have to go to the market, restaurant or shopping mall. In that case, put on a mask while commuting.

However, you should stick to staying indoors in the evening during the winter season.

If you are an employee for an organization that requires you to travel or commute during the evening then make sure you have your mask along with you. You should also request for work from home when the air pollution levels are way too high.

4. Wear N99 Masks while Commuting


N99 masks are essential for winters as they stop 0.3 micron sized particulate matters from going inside your lungs and causing you health hazards.
Now obviously you cannot become a couch potato and stop going outside but you can definitely ensure that you are not breathing the filthy polluted air.

There are a lot of gimmicks that sell in the name of masks. You have to be double sure that the mask you buy is N99 certified by NIOSH. It should also be of the right size else you might end up wearing a mask that still leaks polluted air through gaps or is so tight that you get annoyed with it.

N99 masks also come with valve options that ease the breathing process. Beware! Valves are not filters, they are simply present to ease your exhilaration. If you cycle, jog, run or perform any heavy exercises outdoors then you would definitely need a mask with 2 valves.

5. Keep plants indoor that reduce air pollution


Along with outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution too soars up during the winter season. Ammonia, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, benzene and xylene are few pollutants that reside in your house. You would be surprised to know that even your toilet releases air pollutants (ammonia).

In order to reduce indoor air pollution you can plant specific trees that help increase the oxygen levels and decrease the amount of air pollutants in your house.
Aloe Vera, Peace Lily, Golden Pothos, English Ivy, Weeping Fig, Warneck Dracaena, Heart leaf philodendron and many more are the plants that you can use to reduce air pollution in indoor spaces.

6. Avoid exercising outdoor in the morning


In the morning, the smog is usually very dense. Do not confuse smog with fog and do not run out wearing your sports shoe with the intention of jogging in fresh air.
The first thing that you need to do before going out is check the air quality through AirVisual App and then decide about going out to exercise.

In case you do go out in the presence of smog then you would end up damaging your lung function instead of strengthening it.

The ones who are used to doing breathing exercise in the morning should perform their exercises post sunrise.

7. Install Air Purifiers in indoor spaces

How air purifier help patients suffering from respiratory disease?

Apart from plants in indoor spaces, air purifiers can also help reduce the amount of air pollution at your home or office. There are again many out there that are just gimmicks in the name of air purifiers. To deal with the extreme air pollution condition, you should focus on getting an air purifier that has multi-stage filtration system.

The air purifier must have a HEPA/ULPA filter. This fact should be kept in mind in order to not get scammed.