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I was in Tokyo recently and there I saw people on the streets wearing anti-pollution masks. When I asked why, I was told that all asthmatics and patients with allergies need to wear mask throughout the year.
Air pollution levels of 60 are considered normal in India, whereas the WHO norms are less than 10.
The pollution levels had spiked post-Diwali, but it has been more than a week, and pollution levels show on signs of declining. The overall AQI in Delhi-NCR continues to be several times higher than the safe level at around 500 or more. A public health emergency has been declared. The AQI in Delhi was alarmingly high at 1200 plus on Sunday morning (LiveMint).
The odd-even scheme for vehicles came into force yesterday. But, efforts to reduce and curb pollution need to be in place all through the year.
Also, every day we see patients with respiratory infections. When we wear clothes to protect our skin from adverse weather conditions, then why not our nose from inhaling the pollutants, allergens and infections?
So, should we not be wearing N95 masks all through the year?
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA