Respite is nowhere in sight for the city of Visakhapatnam as the air quality continues to deteriorate. According to airvisual.com, the AQI in Visakhapatnam, on Saturday morning, recorded 146 – in the unhealthy category. Raising concerns, the PM2.5 too was at worrying levels.
While the Air Quality showed signs of improvement, the situation looks to have returned to square one over the past few days. This could be attributed both to industrial pollution, household pollution, burning of garbage and an increase in usage of private vehicles over public transport in Visakhapatnam.
Pulmonologists in the city have been observing a surge in asthma attacks among patients, increased dust allergies and respiratory issues. The AQI in Visakhapatnam suggests that sensitive groups are most affected by poor air quality. Sensitive groups include children, people functioning on low lung capacity, patients who require post-operative care, pregnant women, asthma patients, people with allergies, and the elderly.
The World Health Organisation says the harmful effects don’t stop with health hazards but could prove deadly, too. Even if there are no immediate signs of discomfort or illness among people venturing out, repeated exposure to unclean air could cause long-term health hazards according to research. Indian cities have seen the worst air pollution this year, with Delhi’s AQI at 527, pushing the city into an ‘Emergency’ category. While long term solutions to tackle the problem are the need of the hour, people living in cities like Visakhapatnam can take certain preventive measures from their end as well to make sure the pollution doesn’t turn into a menace.