How to behave in case of increased air pollution in cities?

Increased environment air pollution in cities can be influenced by:

  • meteorological conditions;
  • intensive road traffic;
  • poorly maintained streets;
  • intensive heating;
  • forest and moor fires. 

Meteorological conditions may affect air quality in some ways. This kind of pollution may occur due to lack of wind or insufficient air flows in the lower layers. It may also occur because of dry weather (no rain for a long time). When the emission of pollutants is increased and certain meteorological conditions prevail, big cities may suffer from smog.

Road traffic is more intensive before working hours and right after working hours (peak hours). At that time motor vehicles release large quantity of pollutants into the air (solid particles, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide).

Increased concentration of solid particles in big cities may occur because of poorly maintained streets. This concentration may be particularly dangerous in spring.

During cold weather residents of big cities suffer from increased air pollution which is caused by intensive heating.

Increased air pollution impact on health of residents

Particulates absorb environment chemical and biological pollutants, so it may result in chronic poisoning and allergic reactions. Particulates are more likely to get into lungs while breathing through mouth, taking exercise and taking physical activities outside.

The most sensitive people to air pollution include:

  • babies and children (particularly up to 5 years old);
  • pregnant women;
  • the elderly;
  • persons with respiratory and circulatory diseases;
  • persons affected by other toxic substances which strengthen negative effect of pollutants;
  • persons living in adverse social-economic conditions.

General recommendations to residents in case of increased air pollution:

  • Spend more time in closed premises;
  • Do not open air vents, windows and doors;
  • Tightly close all ventilation holes;
  • Ventilate premises by using air conditioners or ventilate premises by covering windows or air vents with a wet cloth;
  • If you go by a car, windows must be shut;
  • Limit or avoid physical activities outside, educational establishments should suspend physical education classes which take place outside;
  • If possible, leave the city for a while, it is particularly recommended for the elderly, mothers with babies (up to 1 years old) and persons with bronchial asthma or other chronic respiratory diseases;
  • People with chronic illnesses must consider their medicines;
  • If you feel sick, go to the doctor;
  • Protect your respiratory tract by putting gauze mask (bandage), gauze-cotton mask (bandage) or respirator.

Individual protection measures may be:

  • Gauze mask (4-6 layers of gauze bandage) made individually;
  • Gauze-cotton mask (bandage) made individually;
  • Respirators can be acquired individually;
  • Respirators from State Reserve which can be provided only when an emergency is declared in the city.


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