December 2nd is observed as National Pollution Prevention Day. One of the world's largest environmental health risk "Air Pollution" has been addressed on this occasion for protection of the children.
Krishan Chugh and Neetu Talwar from Fortis Memorial Research Institute throw light on most usual sources of Air Pollution and ways to prevent children from it.
‘Air pollution affects people worldwide and most importantly the low-and middle-income countries.’
Some of the most common sources of air pollution are household combustion devices, motor vehicles, industrial facilities, unpaved roads, forest fires etc.
Common pollutants found in them are particulate matter, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide.
Particulate matter (PM): PM stands for particulate matter (also called particle pollution), the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air.
Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope. Of all of the air pollutants, fine particulate matter has the greatest effect on human health.
It is an environmental health problem that affects people worldwide, but low-and middle-income countries disproportionately experience this burden.
The basic ways to reduce air pollution include educating friends, family and neighborhood regarding:
- Dangers of air pollution
- Harmful effects of smoking, both active and passive
- Safe cooking practices, use of efficient stoves
- Benefits of efficient, low-polluting vehicle or a zero-emission electric car
- Maintaining your personal vehicles and keeping the tires properly inflated
- Limiting idling at traffic lights
- Replacing energy-hungry incandescent lights with compact florescent light bulbs
- Opting for fans instead of air conditioning
- Adding insulation to your homes
- Washing laundry in cold water and line dry
- When ready to replace, looking for Energy Star appliances
- Microwaving or using toaster for small meals
- Eating locally, shopping at farmer's markets and buying organic produce
- Using durable and sustainable bags and keeping them in the car so that it not caught off guard
- Walking or riding a bike when possible
- Recycling paper, plastic, metals and organic materials
- Initiating Walking clubs, Cycling clubs, Nature walk clubs, Car-pooling clubs
- Tree plantation, Gardening and anything that help reduce air pollution and increase green cover.