Amid deteriorating air quality across Delhi-NCR, former AIIMS director, Dr. Randeep Guleria, has issued a grave warning, emphasizing that air pollution is a silent killer that worsens existing health conditions and causes hidden health problems. In an interview with The Indian Express, Dr Guleria stated, "We can learn from solutions implemented elsewhere, but we must understand that this is a medical emergency, a silent killer that affects us and future generations' health. That's why we need to act, even if the cost is high."
Addressing indoor air pollution and mitigation strategies, the veteran pulmonologist stressed the need for more data on the effectiveness of air purifiers. He explained that factors like room size and ventilation are crucial to their efficacy.
"Indoor air quality is often linked to outdoor air quality. Even in a closed room, pollution can enter due to factors like dust. When using an air purifier, its effectiveness depends on the room size and the level of ventilation. In many houses in Delhi, rooms are not airtight, and pollution can still enter even if you close the door," Dr Guleria emphasized.
He also highlighted the critical impact of air pollution on various age groups, citing studies that show stunted lung growth in children and increased risks of stroke, heart attacks, and dementia in the elderly.
Air pollution in Delhi-NCR
Meanwhile, air quality across Delhi slightly improved on Sunday and the overall AQI reached at 297 in ‘poor’ levels, according to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR). However, in the national capital, the Anand Vihar station entered in the ‘very poor' category with PM 2.5 at 305 and PM 10 at 261, in poor category, as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good'; 51 and 100 'satisfactory'; 101 and 200 'moderate'; 201 and 300 'poor'; 301 and 400 'very poor'; and 401 and 500 'severe'.