Air pollution causes more disabilities than smoking, Dr. Randeep Guleria, former director of the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, noted.
Air pollution severely affects people’s organs, said Guleria, from the Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders.
A paper published in 2017 suggested that more than 1.24 million people in India die every year due to air pollution, Zee News agency reported.
Studies in recent years show a dramatic increase in emergency room visits due to respiratory problems whenever the AQI is in the poor to severe range.
Data suggest that heart diseases, strokes, lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and air pollution cause more disabilities than smoking.
Children and the elderly are at a high risk for underlying heart and lung disease, so they should not go outside when the air quality index is so high.
‘A mask should be worn, as it helps to a certain extent, although it is not a definite solution, and during hours when there are high levels of pollution, outdoor exercise should be avoided,’ the physician stressed.