Delhi’s air quality could lead to stroke, warn AIIMS doctors

With air quality over the past few days being the worst so far this season, AIIMS director Randeep Guleria said that “Delhi’s air pollution level is now affecting even healthy individuals and is a cause for concern”. He said that while the worst-hit are children, the elderly, and those with compromised respiratory function, “this sustained level of air pollution is even affecting lungs of those who are otherwise healthy”. “Exposure to air pollution is associated with lung cancer, predisposing individuals to heart attacks and stroke, besides causing bronchitis, asthma etc. General infection levels also go up. Collective action is the only way forward to curb this menace. People should use public transport, and walk rather take a vehicle; children should carpool to school or take the school bus,” he said. Anti-pollution masks Speaking about the usefulness of anti-pollution masks, Mr. Guleria said that most people in Delhi do not use the masks properly. “High-risk patients can use a three-layered surgical mask, or an N-95 mask, worn tightly around the nose and mouth. If it is loosely worn it is of no use. These can be used in areas where pollution level is very high. At best, masks and air purifiers give you a false sense of security,” he added. He added that the case is similar with air purifiers and that these items were not a lasting solution.

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