India’s tryst with pollution, be it air, sound, water, etc, is familiar. Almost all of Northern India comes under massive, deadly air pollution every year, especially during the winter season. With serious health hazards, things are worse for those suffering from respiratory diseases.


Burning of stubble is said to be one of the leading causes of air pollution in the National Capital Region and its surrounding areas. However, with Diwali being celebrated around the same time, it is a double whammy for nature. Burning of firecrackers leads to more severe consequences for infants and the older generation who gasp to breathe fresh air.

Other major cities are not spared from the worsening air pollution. Recently, Mumbai saw the launch of a unique Intensive Respiratory Care Unit for patients with respiratory issues.


Diseases linked to air pollution

Air pollution of any form can lead to a vast range of problems, including diseases like stroke,  trachea, bronchus, and lung cancers, aggravated asthma, and lower respiratory infections. Severe complications of pollution may lead to birth issues in newborn babies with growth defects. It also elevates the risk of Type 2 diabetes.


Smog is one form of air pollution where airborne particles in elevated levels when we breathe may lead to eye irritation, wheezing,  inflammation, exasperating the respiratory tract, shortness of breath, and a killer for asthma patients.


According to a Lancet study in 2022, air pollution led to around 1.7 million premature deaths in India in 2019, accounting for approximately 17.8 percent of the total recorded deaths in the country that year, the highest in the world.



Things have turned for the worse when it comes to tackling air pollution. Despite various regulations in place, things are happening differently than they are supposed to be. Setting up smog towers will help to a certain extent.


Preventing older people and infants from venturing out during the smoggy days will prevent them from contracting respiratory diseases. Using face masks is another viable option. Sprinkling water on dust can help it settle and thus prevent it from inhaling the toxic mix. A visit to a medical professional is a must in case of asthma, severe respiratory issues, or cardiovascular issues. Using inhalers and taking the right medicines will help in the long run.


Even staying indoors is also unsafe as the indoor air is polluted to some extent. Going in for air purifiers is the only option for people in need to keep safe from hazardous air pollution.


During morning walks, when people go out to breathe fresh air, they inhale dust as sweepers clean roads, leading to more dust accumulation.


The impact
Air pollution is here to stay; the only way to prevent it is to follow health tips. With a growing economy, India’s road to curb air pollution and its associated health hazards is ahead.