Air pollution warning for travellers

 

Air pollution warning to Travellers

For cricket fans, you might have seen the fog in New Delhi in early December 2017. Smog in New Delhi stopped players during the third Test between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi. Cricket players were seen wearing masks and some were reported to have vomited in the change room.

Smog is a sad reality in our world and travellers must be aware of these. Smog is not new to the locals of cities including India, Beijing, Cairo, Mexico and Kabul.

In some parts of South East Asia, smogs occur in winter. Smog in winter is like a layer of warm air over cooler air, trapped in the moist cold air close to the Earth’s surface. Burning fossil fuels combined with gas emissions from factory and cars creates thicker smog.

In New Delhi, the concentration of the dangerous microscopic particulate matter particles which can travel deep in the lungs and damage them, climbed to more than 1000. The US Environmental Protection Agency regards values greater than 151 to be unhealthy for anyone. This is apparently, equal to smoking 44 cigarettes a day, according to Berkeley Earth science research group.

Tips for travellers (reference from Travelvax Australia):

  • Check your destination by simply using google- type ‘air quality’ and your destination
  • For those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, always keep medications at hand. Carry them in hand luggage so they are easy to reach on arrival. Always keep these medications close especially when you head outdoors.
  • Minimise going outdoors and stay indoors until air pollution improves. Close windows and doors and use the air conditioner.
  • Pack eye drops to relieve irritated eyes
  • Wear a mask if medium to high air pollution is expected. N95 respirators are better masks than cloth or gauze masks in filtering small particles though they will not protect against harmful gases. Consult doctor before wearing a mask if you have a heart or lung condition.