Air pollution is a big problem in Delhi/NCR, isn’t it? So, I noticed some myths that are floating around everywhere which people actually follow, and as a result it’s leading to serious heart problems, health problems in them. So, here are 9 myths that I’m going to share, which if you end up following could end up hurting you or your family’s health. The first myth is – this pollution is temporary – because electrical vehicles will come, and no petrol vehicles will be there, and all the pollution would come down. That’s actually a myth. Because of the heavy weight of the batteries of electrical vehicles, the wear and tear from the tyres is increasing the suspended particulate matter, so the particles of the rubber tyres are going up because of the weight of the batteries. And because of electrical vehicles, those particles get released in the air and actually are increasing the air pollution as well. And plus, the batteries are charged by thermal power plants, which means they are, most of them are, burning coal to produce electricity. So, unless the car is using solar energy, I think it will not lead to a substantial reduction in air pollution. Yes, electrical vehicles are less air polluting as compared to petrol based cars but at the same time, electrical vehicles will not eliminate the air pollution in the country right now. Secondly, on the topic of cars, people feel that if you keep your car closed, , I sit in my car and keep the windows closed, I am OK, and I’ll be safe! No, actually what happens is, when the car is parked overnight, there are lot of fumes which get created from the seats, from the plastics, from the panelling, so it’s very very important that when you sit in the car, you open the windows for some time, and then close the windows, and then you operate your car, keeping the settings to re-circulation of the inside air only. Don’t take the fresh air from outside in these days of pollution. You can also install an air purifier for the car, which is available online. Third myth that I hear also is that indoor air is safe. If I don’t go out, I’m safe. That’s incorrect, in fact because of the fumes coming from our perfumes, from agarbattis, from furniture, from the wall paints, from smoke of the cooking, the elevated carbon dioxide levels. In fact, it is said that indoor air quality of our homes is actually 2 to 5 times more dangerous than the outside air, even though it looks clean. So, what can you do about it? Keep your dusting with a wet cloth. Use exhaust extensively. Use air purifiers, of course – it goes without saying. So, another myth is – If I put plants in my house, I’ll be safe, that’s enough! Again, a myth, because not all plants are safe, some of them actually emit more carbon dioxide than oxygen. So, here is a list of plants that you can buy to keep your family safe. But also keep in mind, if you don’t use these plants in conjunction with an air purifier, the dust and the particulate matter will settle on the leaves of these plants and they will not be able to breathe properly. So, use these plants in combination with the air purifier. And, clean the leaves at regular intervals. Another myth that people have is – I should not do any exercise in this time of the year. That’s again, partially true. You should not do the ones that involve physical exertion. But breathing exercises which we are taught in yoga should be done. This is the best time to do breathing exercises, because you are exercising and increasing the breathing power of your lungs. But do it inside, do it in a room which has been cleaned after using an air purifier for about half an hour, and then do the breathing exercises which are taught to us in Yoga. Another myth that is there is – If I am using air mask outside, it should be OK. Again, a very very common myth. I see a lot of people with surgical masks going around on the streets. Yes, surgical mask is better than nothing. But again, you should go and find an N95 or an N99 mask. An N95 means it cleans up to 95% of the 2.5 particulate matter. An N99 means it cleans up to 99%. And again keep in mind, N95 and N99 should be certified. USA has FIOSH and European Union has an FPP certification. So, it should be certified by one of these organizations, then only it is totally effective. Also keep in mind is that when you are wearing a mask, there should not be any open areas. Sometimes I see people wearing very loosely fitted masks. So, if your mask has lot of spaces where air can come from outside, they are actually not serving any purpose. Another myth that people have is that– My school has installed air purifiers, so my children are safe. Again, a very very common myth. Again, that’s incorrect. Number one, your children are going in the early mornings. From 6 o’clock onwards, I see children on the street waiting for the school buses. So, that air is very very dangerous. So second part is, they are wearing heavy bags. Now, the heavy bags not only cause spinal problems, but they also result in the compression of the lungs. So, the breathing capacity of the children actually reduces. Then, when they go to the school.. There are two or three kinds of schools right now. One is which don’t have any form of air purification systems involved – that is the most dangerous. They are getting the air from the windows. The second one is, who are using air from the corridors as well. So, what happens is they’ve installed the air purifiers, but the moment the doors open – because the schools have been designed in a way, the air comes from the corridors of the school, and that air immediately pollutes the room. And then, for the next half an hour, one hour, the purifier tries to clean it up, and before that, somebody else opens the room. Those purifiers are actually not at all useful. The third kind of installation which schools have is – they have air conditioning systems which are in enclosed buildings, but they keep recirculating the same air again and again. As a result, the pollution which comes on our clothes, and the carbon dioxide levels in such schools goes up, and causes sleepiness among students. That is why, we have designed a school especially in Gurugram, keeping these things in mind. Our school starts at 9 am in the morning. In winters, when the pollution is high, children should be indoors. And only after 8 o’clock, when the sun is out, children should be out travelling to school. In the summers, when the weather is nice, we would want children to be outside in the playground, in the park with their parents spending quality time, and not being travelling in the bus to school or sitting in the classroom. Secondly, we’ve put in lockers for every child. Now, schools tend to not use lockers lockers because they want to optimize every inch of the school to accommodate maximum children. But we have put in lockers so that children don’t need to carry heavy bags, they only carry back only what they require to study at home. Thirdly, our all the air in the school comes after treatment, dehumidification, and then enters the school building. No air is taken directly from outside. And then, inside the school we have a separate air purifier. We’ve realized that 30% of the children in Delhi/NCR have bad lungs. Carrying a nebulizer is very very easy. So, that’s why we’ve set up this school keeping in mind the requirements of today’s family. It’s a first-of-its-kind. We’ve set it up in Malibu Town, Sector-47, Gurugram. The school is starting classes from April, 2020. And if you are interested, you should call the number below. Another myth that I would like to break is that people feel that air pollution only impacts those who have respiratory problems. That’s incorrect. According to a report, 24% of deaths of heart diseases were due to air pollution. 25% of deaths due to strokes were due to air pollution. And, 29% of respiratory cancers happened due to air pollution as well. So, air pollution not only impacts the breathing and causes coughs, it’s impacting our body every single day. Apart from that, we should always keep ourselves covered, stay away from air pollution because it impacts our skin. So, any exposed parts of your body, your eyes, your skin, is being impacted by air pollution. If you have to travel outside, please get yourself covered as well. And the final myth that I want break is – People feel that exposing ourselves or our children to air pollution is good because it builds resistance.