Published on: Thursday 26 December 2019
Air pollution is now one of the leading causes of death in the world. The World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) estimates about 4.2 million premature deaths are caused due to ambient air pollution worldwide. In addition to the obvious illnesses involving the respiratory system like bronchial asthma, air pollution is also understood to cause a substantially increased incidence of cardiovascular disease and strokes. A host of skin conditions are also known to get aggravated due to air pollution. India, too, is grappling with air pollution, as an aggressive pace of development in the past few decades, has contributed to rising air pollution levels across the country. Sadly, the national capital region (N.C.R.) of Delhi has held the thorny crown of having the most polluted air in the world for a while now. With winter setting in, and this coinciding with crop burning activities as well as Diwali firecrackers, air pollution levels are peaking. Land locked regions like the N.C.R. are unlucky to have this trifecta bearing down on it every year, making Air Quality Index (A.Q.I.) levels shoot up sharply. As a result, this period of the year sees a sharp increase in episodes of bronchial asthma, hyper-reactive airway disease, allergic rhinitis and several other issues.