Since the beginning of May, dust storms have been hitting Delhi and other areas of the National Capital Region, causing a lot of pollution in the city. Several visuals were shared on social media, showing how the dust storm caused panic in their areas. According to various media reports, yellow haze enveloped Delhi-NCR due to strong dusty winds blowing at a speed of 22 kmph.
Dust storms create a dense cloud of airborne particles that can be inhaled by persons exposed to the storm. This not only increases the level of pollution but also increases health related diseases. These extreme weather events can have significant impacts on human health, posing a range of risks and challenges.
Fine particles have raised a number of health issues including eye irritation and conjunctivitis, which causes redness, itching and discomfort. Furthermore, dust can trigger allergic reactions, especially in individuals with sensitivities or pre-existing allergies.
Dr Vivek Nangia, Principal Director and Head of Pulmonology at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, explains how a sudden increase in dust pollution can affect health and what precautions should be taken before venturing out.
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How can dust storms negatively affect health?
Dr Nangia explains, “Dust pollution can cause many ill effects on human health. Acute exacerbations of underlying lung diseases ranging from watery eyes, itchy nose, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, sensation of a foreign object in the throat to chest tightness, breathlessness, cough, bronchial asthma, COPD, etc. Happen.
Which age group is most vulnerable to dust pollution?
According to Dr. Nangia, the most at risk would be young children, adolescents, the elderly, and daily wage workers, laborers, marketing personnel, etc. living on the streets. So, the easiest way to protect yourself from this sudden dust storm is to wear clothes. N95 Mask.
Precautionary measures to protect yourself from dust pollution
Dr Nangia shares that the best way to protect yourself is to stay indoors, especially for those who fall in the vulnerable group. “If it is absolutely necessary to go out, wear an N95 mask. Avoid vigorous physical activity of any kind. Sprinkle water in your neighborhood to settle the dust as much as possible. Plant more green plants around to control the dust,” he explained.