We are living in a nation where pollution is increasing every day. The top 10 most polluted cities of the world have 9 cities from India. So what should we do? Stop breathing? It is a fact that not only smokers get lung cancers but also non-smokers, like the air we breathe itself comes with pollutants.
According to the World health organisation report, the health impacts of air pollution are serious. One-third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution. This has an equivalent effect to that of smoking tobacco and is much higher than, say, the effects of eating too much salt. So either way, we are at risk.
In 2017 air pollution killed 1.24 million Indians of which half were younger than 70. In 2019 1.7 million were killed by air pollution, a study published in The Lancet. However, in 2020, 120,000 people died due to air pollution and related problems, according to the Greenpeace Southeast Asia Analysis of IQAir data.
You can’t escape from air pollution even if you live in posh areas. If you see a lack of visible smog, it doesn’t mean the air is healthy. WHO reports say that household air pollution kills 4 million people a year and tends to affect countries in Africa and Asia, where polluting fuels and technologies are used every day at home for cooking, heating and lighting. Women and children, who tend to spend more time indoors are affected the most.
We cannot totally stop breathing unhealthy air but we can limit our exposure. WHO suggests a few ways to limit air pollution: