The freshness of the air in your environment has a fundamental impact on the quality and length of your life. Air is more a necessity of life than either food or water. Imagine living in a city where a grey brown, noxious haze or smog permeates. Imagine that its streets are filled with jam-packed traffic, a slow moving assembly of vehicles which spew unhealthy exhaust fumes of carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals. The air is not pleasant to inhale and it gives you breathing trouble, makes you cough and wheeze. Your eyes water, your nose runs and you have headaches. Many regular walkers would have experienced all this. Place like parks appoint sweepers to sweep around the time when morning walkers do their daily walkers. Instead of getting fresh air inside the Park we get a share of dust swept out by the caretaker of the park. Similarly, when we travel in public places, the smokers spread smoke and part of the smoke is entering nostrils of the non-smokers as well. That is a pity indeed.
The suspended particulate concentration of the air has a significant impact on a person’s health. Bus drivers, two-wheeler riders and auto rickshaw drivers are those who suffer most with chronic respiratory problems and diseases. Airborne lead from leaded petrol is a major air pollutant; in high concentrations it is known to impair liver and kidney functions and is associated with reduced mental development of infants and children. There are only three mega cities in which suspended particulate matter concentration is, by and large within WHO-prescribed limits.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)