'Dangerous levels of smog shrouded Delhi and surrounding areas the day after Diwali last year in 2018, despite a strict ban imposed on firecrackers by the government.' 

Diwali, though is to be celebrated with lights and sweets, is unfortunately also celebrated with loud firecrackers in India, that are both hazardous to nature as well as to human health. While individuals, NGOs, local community groups and the government are all trying to keep pollution caused by firecrackers to a minimum, year-on-year we are exposed to increased smog which has adverse effects on our health.

Read on to understand what is smog, how does one suffer due to smog and how to protect oneself from the ill-effects of smog.

SMOG, a choking combination of Smoke and fog!

In simple words, Smog is a type of intense air pollution. It is not only harmful but can cause major respiratory distress to people who are asthmatic and also too people who are not asthmatic. Smog is a combination of many gases like Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, combined with smoke and many volatile particles that are released after burning of crackers during Diwali in India.

When we are exposed to the Smog for long hours, we may symptoms and problems:

  1. Throat irritation, congestion and pain.
  2. Formation of Phlegm (Sputum) in throat.
  3. Irritation in the nostrils. Mucus drips down from the nose to throat.
  4. Difficulty in breathing.
  5. Burning and watery eyes.
  6. Coughing with shortness of breath (can hear wheezing sound in chest).

What to do during this season?

The best ways to protect yourself from post-effects of Smog are:

  1. Do not open glass windows of cars/buses when you are travelling. Advise your children not to open windows of their school bus.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a comfortable mask or soft cloth which makes it easy to breath. Before you buy a mask, wear it and check if you can breathe comfortably.
  3. Do not open doors and windows early mornings and during the day for fresh air for upto 2-3 days after Diwali. 
  4. Switch on the air-conditioner when in cars/office/home at comfortable temperature. With changing climate, the cooling should be kept at moderation else chances of catching cough/cold will be high.
  5. Carry a drinking water bottle with you always. Keep yourself hydrated to flush out any toxins from the body.
  6. Avoid morning or evening walks/ exercising/ jogging and other physical activities in open areas for some time.
  7. It is better to have indoor plants which will purify your home/office/school naturally than commercial air purifiers.
  8. Consult a doctor in case you suffer with choking sensation or breathlessness.
  9. Boil 7 to 10 Tulsi leaves in water and drink every morning. It will help in fighting cold/ cough ailments and build immunity.
  10. Eat foods that boost your immunity such as Vitamin C rich citrus fruits. 

Stay Healthy, Stay Safe, Stay Blessed! Wishing you a pollution and smog-free Diwali!