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Home > Blog > Exploring the Devastating Health Effects of Air Pollution in Delhi

Exploring the Devastating Health Effects of Air Pollution in Delhi

Exploring the Devastating Health Effects of Air Pollution in Delhi

Max Lab

Nov 07, 2023

Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental factors that has a major negative impact on human health. Exposure to high levels of air pollution is directly associated with a lot of health issues, such as respiratory infections, heart disease, lung cancer, etc. Delhi, the Indian capital, is currently among the most air-polluted cities, not just in the country but in the entire world. As the winter approaches, the city starts getting enveloped in thick smog, leading to poor air quality in Delhi and other surrounding areas.

The Current Scenario

Currently, air pollution in Delhi is increasing at a rapid rate, causing the AQI index to reach dangerous levels. People who are breathing this quality are at great risk of developing several health issues. This toxic air has a variety of adverse health outcomes, especially for children, elderly people, and individuals who are already dealing with some medical conditions. In simple words, the increasing pollution in Delhi has simply made the national capital and its surrounding regions almost unbreathable.

Further in this blog, we’ll talk about the effects of air pollution, its causes, and several other things related to this:

Causes

Usually, the air pollution in Delhi starts increasing every year with the onset of the winter season. The main reason behind this is the cold winter air, which is much denser when compared to the hot summer air. During the winter, the lowest layer of the atmosphere is comparatively colder and denser, which makes it difficult for the air to move upwards. As a result, the pollutants get easily trapped in the air, forming an atmospheric lid. This process is known as inversion, and it causes those pollutants to disperse back into the atmosphere, leading to increased air pollution.

Other than this, there are a few other causes of air pollution in Delhi. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Transport:

When it comes to air pollution in Delhi, vehicular emissions are one of the key contributors. This is a well-known fact that all automotive vehicles emit different kinds of pollutants that reduce the overall air quality. The national capital is among the most populous cities in the country, and as a result, the number of vehicles roaming around is also very high.

  • Agricultural Stubble Burning:

Since it is an easy and cost-effective way to clear the stubble left after the paddy harvest, it is a common practice for farmers in the northern part of the country. However, this has also been cited as one of the major causes of air pollution in Delhi, especially in the late fall and early winter.

  • Accidental Farm Fires:

Sometimes, fires started to discard agricultural waste can get out of control and lead to some major incidents. These accidental farm fires not only contaminate the air with toxic pollutants but also have a majorly negative impact on the climate. These farm fires release large quantities of carbon dioxide, causing the overall air quality to deteriorate further.

  • Construction Activities:

There is no denying the fact that construction sites are a major source of dust and several other pollutants. Delhi is a place where a large number of construction activities take place for one reason or another. As a result, this is also one of the major contributors to the massive air pollution in the city.

Effects

Usually, polluted air is laden with fine PM2.5 particles that can easily enter the body and settle in the lungs. As a result, even the slightest exposure to air pollution can cause several health complications. Here are a few common health effects of increasing air pollution and deteriorating air quality:

  • Respiratory Issues:

When an individual inhales the toxic air, these pollutants enter the body and cause issues in the respiratory system. Sometimes, it starts with mild irritation in the lining of the windpipe and leads to other problems such as breathlessness, coughing, wheezing, etc. In people with asthma, it can worsen the condition, sometimes being the reason for a sudden, new attack.

  • Lung-related Problems:

There have been a number of studies that show how the pollutants present in the air can affect the way human lungs function. When the exposure is for a prolonged period, it can get worse and also increase one’s risk of developing lung cancer and several other issues related to the organ.

  • Skin Issues:

Skin-related problems are among the most common short-term health effects of air pollution. It can cause issues like redness, rashes, itching, etc. Other than that, these pollutants can also lead to redness in the eyes combined with blurred vision.

In addition to this, prolonged exposure to air pollution can cause several other life-threatening diseases as well. Some of them include chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and even heart-related issues. However, the severity of these diseases can vary from one individual to another, depending on factors like age, current health condition, lifestyle habits, etc.

Although the government is taking a lot of steps to mitigate air pollution and increase awareness about it, the adverse health effects cannot be ignored. The best way to avoid any such complications is to take certain precautions, such as wearing masks, avoiding going out in such situations, using air purifiers, etc.

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