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#DelhiAirEmergency Gets People to Talk About Solutions

Several other users pointed to the health risks of breathing toxic air

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Delhi, air Polltuion
A panel discussion was led to discuss about tackling pollution. Pixabay

From wearing masks and staying indoors to working from home, suggestions to deal with the deadly air pollution in Delhi flooded Twitter on Sunday as people took to social media to vent their anger on politicians for their inactions.

“Keep those damned windows closed, y’all. Don’t go out. #DelhiAirEmergency #smog,” wrote one user.

#DelhiAirEmergency and #DelhiPollution were among the top trends on Twitter on Sunday.

“Imagine if this is happening at Capital and still we are seeing such laziness from authorities. We can imagine how they will treat small cities/states. Just because all the major parties are at fault doesn’t mean it’s ok if you don’t take action. #DelhiAirEmergency,” wrote another user.

Some users even criticised teenage Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg for not tweeting anything on the rising pollution levels in Delhi.

“All offices in Delhi and NCR should ask all employees to do work from home till this situation improves. It will help reduction in pollution level to some extent. #DelhiAirEmergency,” tweeted one user.

With a thick smog engulfing the Delhi airport and areas surrounding it, as many as 32 flights were diverted to nearby cities on Sunday.

Delhi, Polluted, Air
The air pollution level has increased so much that the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA) had to declare a public health emergency and the Delhi government announced that all schools in the Capital will remain closed till November 5. Pixabay

The pollution in Delhi, however, did not stop some users from creating some very relevant and yet funny memes.

“Nahi bachega mai idhaar, mar jayega main,” read the caption of an image showing actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui from the Netflix series “Sacred Games”.

Several other users pointed to the health risks of breathing toxic air.

“I’m saying this again, and I will, till things improve, we really need to tackle #pollution in Delhi-NCR, or we’re simply just raising a generation with unhealthy lungs and a lifetime of breathing issues,” wrote one user.

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Hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) have witnessed a rise in cases linked to respiratory and eye problems following the spike in pollution levels over the past one week. Exposure to air pollution is also very harmful for heart patients and kids.

“Exposure to certain chemicals post Diwali can trigger a variety of heart-related problems ranging from increased blood pressure or irregular heartbeat to heart attacks or even sudden cardiac arrest, especially amongst the elderly population,” Sundeep Mishra, professor of cardiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said in a statement. (IANS)

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Air Pollution Associated with More Severe Rhinitis Symptoms: Researchers

Airborne particulate matter and NO2 are both traffic-related pollutants

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Pollution- climate crisis
Climate crisis has increased due to air pollution and people are facing lung and heart-related problems. VOA

Researchers have found that the nasal symptoms of rhinitis are more severe in people exposed to higher levels of outdoor air pollution.

Rhinitis, a condition that affects between 20 per cent and 50 per cent of the world’s population, is a disorder of the nasal mucosa characterised by congestion, sneezing, rhinorrhoea, nasal irritation and, in some cases, a reduced sense of smell.

“Rhinitis is associated with asthma, which is closely linked to air pollution. That is why we thought it would be interesting to investigate whether long-term exposure to air pollution also plays a determining role in rhinitis,” said study researcher Benedicte Jacquemi from Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain.

For the findings, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers analysed data from 1,408 patients with rhinitis from 17 different European cities, including Barcelona and Oviedo (Spain), Paris (France), Antwerp (Belgium), Umea (Sweden) and Erfurt (Germany).

The participants answered a questionnaire regarding the severity of each one of their rhinitis symptoms and the extent to which the condition interferes with their day-to-day lives.

According to the researchers, airborne particles, the diameter of which can vary from micrometres to millimetres, are solid or liquid bodies present in the air. Particles with a diameter under 2.5 (PM2.5) and under ten micrometres (PM10) are of particular interest in this context.

Delhi Toxic Air
An elderly Indian woman seeks alms as youth wearing pollution masks walk through a shopping area in New Delhi, India. VOA

As the study shows, people living in cities with higher levels of PM10 and PM2.5 report the most severe rhinitis symptoms. An increase of 5 �g/m3 in PM2.5 was associated with a 17 per cent higher probability of severe rhinitis.

These particles were associated with increased severity of congestion, nasal irritation and sneezing, whereas exposure to NO2 increased the severity of nasal discharge and congestion, the study said.

Airborne particulate matter and NO2 are both traffic-related pollutants.

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“The role of these pollutants in the severity of symptoms is probably linked to oxidative stress, apoptosis (a process by which irreparably damaged cells are eliminated) and inflammation,” said study lead author Emilie Burte.

“Our findings suggest that the effect of airborne particulate matter differs from that of gaseous emissions (NO2), probably because their respective mechanisms of action provoke different inflammatory responses in the respiratory tract; however, more studies are needed to validate this hypothesis,” Burt added. (IANS)