Now everybody knows that Delhi is facing major air pollution issues and it is one of the world’s most polluted cities. In 2014, it was ranked the most polluted city globally in terms of PM 2.5, by the World Health Organisation (WHO). And now in 2017, Delhi is witnessing worst form of pollution in the month of November. Today, one of the biggest threats to the welfare of the people of Delhi and NCR as a whole is pollution of various types.
Health effects of air pollution are many and severe. The exposure of pregnant women to air pollution has also been found to affect the brain growth.
Pollutants including nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter from road traffic and sulphur dioxide, from the burning of fossil fuels, have been linked to suppressed lung growth in children, asthma, heart disease and the onset of type 2 diabetes.
My motive to write this brief post is to identify the sources and effects of air pollution and as an individual what we can do to keep air pollution under control and live a healthy life.
Health Problems Associated With Air Pollution:
- Toxic chemicals present in air reach to your heart through the bloodstream, which puts you at a higher risk of heart problems.
- Breathing polluted air puts you at a higher risk for asthma and other similar respiratory diseases.
- Lung function decreases and you may suffer from respiratory inflammation.
- Air pollutants are mostly carcinogens and living in a polluted area or city can put people at risk of Cancer.
- Damages the immune system, endocrine and reproductive systems.
- The toxic substances released into the air settle into plants and water sources. Animals eat the contaminated plants and drink the water. The poison finally reaches to us through food chain.
- Coughing and wheezing are common if you are breathing polluted air.
- Temperature increases. The burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere cause the Earth to become warmer.
Causes of Air Pollution in Delhi:
- Very fast and consistently growing population of the city.
- Unplanned development of industries and factories. Studies have revealed that only about 20% of the industrial units are set up in the approved industrial areas whereas the rest of them are in residential and commercial areas.
- There has been a huge rise in the vehicular population, in spite of the metro railways and DTC buses, which is cause of traffic problems, noise and air pollution.
- Number of Diesel vehicles is increasing day by day.
- There is no proper methods or technologies applied in the city to treat solid or liquid waste, waste water, industrial and hospital wastes.
- There has been too much dependency on fossil fuels like coal-fired power plants, improper use of energy in buildings and the excessive use of biomass.
What Can We Do Personally To Reduce Air Pollution:
- Saving energy at home is one of the easiest ways to reduce air pollution. Turn off all electric devices and lights when no one is in the house. Saving energy means less carbon dioxide emission from power plants.
- Washing your clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot water will save energy.
- We can limit driving by using public transportation, carpooling and cycling and walking for shorter distances.
- Use environmental friendly vehicles if possible such as E-Rickshaw.
- Plant trees. There are so many plants out there that will pure the air in the atmosphere.
- Save paper to save trees.
- Keep your car or bike well serviced and maintained. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Keep the automobile tip-top by changing oil and do servicing on time..
- Use electric or hand-powered lawn care equipment.
- Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when full.
- Choose environmentally friendly electric appliances.
- Seal containers of household cleaners, workshop chemicals to prevent evaporating in the air.