Living through a Twin-Demic – Nirvana Being

Living through a Twin-Demic

by Flying Saints Creative Agency on November 29, 2021

Air pollution is undoubtedly the most problematic type of pollution and it is made worse by the fact that everyone is exposed - because everyone needs to breathe! The major factors contributing to the increasing PM levels include unpaved roads, ill-regulated industry, an ever-increasing number of road vehicles, biomass and waste burning.

It is imperative to understand that we are living through a “Twin-demic” including both Covid-19 and Air Pollution – both create a respiratory distress in the human body. The World Health Organization estimates that one out of every eight deaths in the world is due to conditions associated with air pollution. Where Covid-19 has taken lives of about 4.64 lac people in India so far, about 1.8 million people lost their lives to air pollution in 2020 alone, more than 4 times the number of Covid deaths that the country suffered. It is estimated that the Years of Life Lost(YLL) from living and breathing in Delhi’s air is 10-12 years.

The effects of air pollution involve a large variety of illnesses, starting with the simple irritation of eyes, nose, mouth and throat or diminished energy levels, headache and dizziness, but also potentially more serious conditions - of which the most common are:

  • Respiratory and lung diseases, including Asthma attacks, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Reduced lung function, Pulmonary cancer (caused by a series of carcinogen chemicals that enter the body through inhalation), Mesothelioma (a particular type of lung cancer, usually associated with exposure to asbestos and it usually occurs 20-30 years after the initial exposure), Pneumonia, etc.
  • Leukaemia – a type of blood cancer usually associated with exposure to benzene vapours (through inhalation)
  • Birth defects and immune system defects
  • Cardiovascular problems, heart disease and stroke (an increased risk especially due to particulate matter)
  • Neurobehavioral disorders - neurological problems and developmental deficits due to air toxins such as mercury (which is the only volatile metal)
  • Liver and other types of cancer – caused by breathing carcinogenic volatile chemicals
  • Premature death- Air pollution kills around 116,000 infants in India every year within the first month of being born. More than half the infant deaths were due to PM 2.5 in outdoor air and the rest were linked to household air pollution due to use of solid fuels, such as charcoal, wood, and animal dung for cooking, found the State of Global Air 2020.

For the first time ever, we are hearing the words Air Emergency and Air Pollution along with Lockdown in the same sentence, seems like we’re actually delving into the severity of the problem for the first time. The media is round the clock covering the worsening air pollution in Northern India and the Delhi Government has also filed a petition with the Supreme Court. While we hope for the best, let us all be prepared for the worst.

 Stay safe and breathe pure!
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