New Delhi / Eat carrots, broccoli, spinach: Health Minister amid Delhi air pollution

The Hindu : Nov 04, 2019, 06:06 PM

The Union Health Minister took to Twitter to impart some advice on how to counter pollution-related problems

As the national capital continues to grapple with severe levels of air pollution, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan took to Twitter to impart some advice on how to counter pollution-related problems.

Mr. Vardhan, who is a doctor by profession, suggested eating carrots and food items with high levels of antioxidants to combat pollution-related health issues.

In a tweet on Monday, Mr. Vardhan said oxidative stress triggered by various pollutants has serious negative effects on the human health.

“One positive action is to include food items with high levels of antioxidants that can neutralise this. Of course, the solution lies in exposure prevention and control,” he said.

On Sunday, he had tweeted, “Eating carrots helps the body get Vitamin A, potassium and antioxidants which protect against night blindness common in India. Carrots also help against other pollution-related harm to health.”

Pollution level in Delhi peaked to a three-year high on Sunday notwithstanding claims of heightened checks and curbs by authorities.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the national capital’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 494 at 4 p.m. on Sunday, the highest since November 6, 2016 when it was 497.

All schools up to Class 12 have been closed in the National Capital Region till Tuesday due to the spike in pollution levels.

The Delhi government also issued a health advisory and asked people to avoid outdoor activities as much as possible, especially during the morning and late evening hours and keep activity levels low.

The advisory said the air pollution might cause respiratory problems in healthy people on prolonged exposure and pronounced respiratory or other serious illnesses for the vulnerable population even on short exposure.

“The general public is, therefore, advised to avoid outdoor physical activities, especially during morning and late evening hours,” it stated.

The dos and don’ts asked people to remain indoors and reschedule their outdoor activities, consult doctors in case of breathlessness, giddiness, cough, chest discomfort or pain and irritation in the eyes.

Using N95 masks, avoiding heavy traffic and polluted areas, keeping doors and windows closed in the morning and late evening were also advised by the government.

It also asked people to use public transport, avoid driving two-wheelers and other vehicles, and stop smoking.