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With air pollution rising in most of the metro cities in India, most urban citizens have been using face masks and other protective gear. Now, that you can check India’s air quality index regularly, it would be easier to evaluate the extent of pollution. Many office-goers have already purchased face masks and air purifiers to shield them from contaminants.
If you are not familiar with AQI (Air Quality Index), let’s understand what it actually is. The ministry of environment and forests, in an attempt to reveal the amount of pollutants in air in real time, has launched the AQI. This knowledge will make the people conscious about the contaminants they are exposed to. Considering the probable adverse impact on health, the citizens can buy masks and other necessary gears.
Understanding the air quality index in India
Apart from the general air pollutants, the government has added some new components to the list, while assessing the quality of air. These include ozone, lead, ammonia, carbon monoxide and particulate matter 2.5. Some of the other pollutants include PM 10, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Depending on the presence of these contaminants in the air, it can be classified into six groups. These are severe, very poor, poor, moderately polluted, satisfactory and good.
Most of the metropolitans in India are not under the cover of this index. Besides, the government has also come up with a mechanism to know the air quality in most of the state capitals. There is a scope for indoor air quality monitor as well in the cities.
What is particulate matter and how to protect yourself from them?
Particulate matter, also termed PM or particulate pollution, is actually a complex mixture consisting of liquid droplets and small particles. Several components make up particulate matter, including acids, sulfates, nitrates, soil, metals, organic chemicals and dust particles. Knowing that India’s air quality index is poor, as they contain these contaminants, it is advisable to wear face masks. N95 masks are the most effective to combat urban pollution. However, you have other variants of face masks as well, designed for special purposes. In case you are purchasing a face mask, make sure to get a branded mask from one of the reputed online portals.
In this regard, you should be knowing that particulate matter comes in different sizes and shapes. These particles may be categorized into two broad groups. The bigger ones are known as PM10, while the smaller ones are termed PM 2.5.
The big particles may be up to 25 times thinner than hair. The adverse effect on health caused by such particles is less severe. The smaller ones can be up to 100 times thinner than hair, and are more harmful when you inhale them.
Protecting yourself from particulate matter
Wearing face masks happen to be the most viable remedy to combat air pollution in India. Particularly, if you reside in one of the metro cities, you need to buy quality face masks. Installing air purifiers in your car can also enhance the air quality substantially. In any case, it is advisable to purchase branded products from the trusted portals online.