How to Care for Yourself in the Most Polluted Cities

Presence of unwarranted elements – chemical substances or forms of energy like heat, light or noise – which have harmful effect on the environment and living beings that live within it is pollution. Exposure to pollution is a reality for all of us in the modern society, more so in the urban areas. It affects the primary conditions necessary for our survival – air, water and land.

If you live in a city that is highly polluted, you need to take special care of yourself to protect against the harmful effects of pollution.

1. Make Correct Food Choices

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Air pollution affects not only our lungs but other vital organs as well. Eating food rich in selenium, vitamins A, B and C, and beta carotene helps fight pollution. Some suggested food items are cherries, tomatoes, kale, sweet potatoes, butter, carrots, garlic, onions, whole grains, etc.

2. Try to Stay Indoors

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Air pollution is the most dangerous and all-pervasive form of pollution as you are exposed to it continuously, as you breathe in and out. If you live in highly polluted city, try to remain indoors as much as possible, as outside air will have more contaminants than home air. Use an indoor gym for exercising.

3. Install Air Filter at Home

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Install a high quality air filter, with a MERV rating of 9 or above, in your home. Clean the filters and replace them regularly as per manufacturer’s recommendations.

4. Take Care of Your Skin

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Your skin bears the maximum brunt of polluted environs. Be it particulates in the air or harmful chemicals in water, your skin gets exposed to it first. So maintain a regular cleansing, hydrating and nourishing regimen. And do not forget to slather sunscreen all over your body, not just the face, when you step out.

5. Never Drink Untreated Water

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If your city is highly polluted, its water bodies are definitely polluted. So avoid drinking water straight from rivers, streams, lakes and even taps. Use filtered water for drinking and cooking purposes.

6. Protect Your Ears Against Noise

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Short bursts of high decibel noise as well as prolonged exposure to low volumes can damage your ears. Avoid using earplugs for long durations. If your home is exposed to continuous noise from industries or traffic, consider sound-proofing your home.

7. Avoid Going Out in Afternoons

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Air quality deteriorates with increase in temperature. So you are at highest risk during afternoons, when atmospheric temperature is at its peak. Plan your outdoor activities during morning and evening hours.

8. Prevention is Better than Cure

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Last but not the least, try to conserve energy and decrease pollution levels in whatever small way you can. Don’t forget, every drop counts in the ocean. So walk or cycle rather than using vehicles, use public transport rather than personal ones, conserve water bodies, do rainwater harvesting, or segregate your garbage. There are so many small things you can do, that will make a big difference.

You need to educate yourself about the types of pollution that is affecting your city or area to take steps for protection against them. Keep checking weather forecasts regularly, especially when you need to step out.

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