Several environmental experts on Saturday issued a warning against the high level of pollution in New Delhi and adjoining region and said that if the pollution level continues to remain at this level, the citizens will soon have to walk around with oxygen cylinders on their backs.
A person would need at least five oxygen cylinders a day, they warned.
The warning was issued after the national capital's air became the cause of several ailments, including premature birth, reducing lung immunity, allergies or aggravation of existing allergies, strokes, heart and lung disease, cancer and other acute respiratory diseases, as per media reports.
Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) revealed that about 92 per cent of the world's population, including in India, lives in areas where air quality is below acceptable standards.
It further said that 88 per cent of premature deaths occur in low and middle-income countries where air pollution is high and escalating.
Air pollution in Delhi-NCR occurs due to a complex mix of pollution from human activities such as vehicle emissions, industry, construction, residential fuel burning, dust and sea salt, according to the website delhiair.org.
The NCR generates 10,000 tons per day of municipal solid waste, much of which is eventually burned, and thus, adding particulate pollution to the air.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Union Environment Ministry gave a week's time to agencies to respond whether deadlines listed in a plan to clean Delhi's air by a Supreme Court-monitored panel suits them or not.
The Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) has also come out with several recommendations in the 'Comprehensive Action Plan for Air Pollution', which was submitted in the apex court last month.
Dr. Vikas Maurya, senior consultant at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, recently listed steps to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of pollution.
1. People should avoid going outdoors along with doing physical activities like cycling and jogging.
2. N95 masks should be used if it is necessary to go out.
3. Air purifying plants such as aloe vera, ivy and spider plant can be placed at home or in the office.
4. To ensure that indoor air pollution does not take place, make sure that there is a chimney in the kitchen and an exhaust in the bathroom.
5. Consume fruits rich in vitamin C, magnesium and foods rich in Omega fatty acids.
6. Have herbal ginger and Tulsi tea.