A Doctor Explains How to Protect Yourself From Deadly Pollution

A Doctor Explains How to Protect Yourself From Deadly Pollution

Health News

As Delhi-NCR grapples with toxic air again, everyone is worried about what they should or should not be doing to protect themselves from the severe pollution.

Dr Mrinal Sircar, senior pulmonologist from Fortis Hospital, clears all your doubts and tells you what to do and what not to do.

How Does This Pollution Affect You?

Everything that comes in contact with this polluted air gets affected. Dr Sircar says that our eyes, respiratory tracts and skin all suffer.

Through our mouths and noses, pollutants could go to the intestines as well.

What Precautions Can Be Taken?

Primarily, you should avoid exposure as much as possible.

  • Avoid going out and stay indoors if and when it’s feasible.
  • When you’re going out in a car, close the windows and switch on the AC.
  • Also, avoid going out early in the morning when the pollution levels are high and instead, step out a bit later.
  • Take certain precautions even when you’re indoors.
  • Use wet mops instead of brooms to clean floors.
  • Avoid using carpets and heavy upholstery as they provide surfaces for particulates to settle on.
  • Exercising increases the amount of air you take in, so it isn’t the best thing to do.
  • Whether it's yoga, breathing exercises or jogging, it won't help.

But what about those WhatsApp forwards that recommend certain foods to fight the effects of pollution? Dr Sircar says that eating healthy is always good, but no particular food can help protect against pollution.

Do Masks and Air Purifiers Help?

Masks help very little, says Dr Sircar. He explains that they’ll only be effective if worn very tightly, otherwise the polluted air will leak in. And they have to be of high quality, like N95 masks. They’re also uncomfortable if worn for too long.

You may wear it for short time periods like when you’re going out on a bike and then take it off after the ride.

He’s also skeptical about air purifiers.

There’s very little evidence that air purifiers help. Rooms are not air-tight and the toxic air can still come in. I’m skeptical about them helping people stay healthy.
Dr Mrinal Sircar, Senior Pulmonologist

The smog is killing us, but will we do anything about it?

Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam

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