According to WHO’s Air Quality Database 2022, “almost the entire global population (99%) breathes air that exceeds WHO air quality limits, and threatens their health.” Closer to home, 35 Indian cities recorded the worst air quality tag for 2021 with Rajasthan’s Bhiwadi topping the list followed closely by Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad, according to the World Air Quality Report, prepared by Swiss organisation IQAir. Fourteen other cities in Uttar Pradesh, including the capital Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Meerut, Agra, Amroha, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Noida, and Greater Noida featured on the list.

Labelled as the second highest health risk, air pollution causes an estimated 7 million premature deaths every year, as per UN Environment Programme.

As such, actor Dia Mirza, who has been a big supporter of sustainable living, shared some ways by which one can help reduce air pollution.

Taking to Instagram on UN International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies she wrote, “This is an important day for us to remind ourselves to breathe clean air. Our health, well-being, life and our longevity, everything is dependent on the air we breathe.”

Recalling her husband and her shared love for sunsets, she added, “It is impossible to witness beautiful skies and sunsets if the air is not clean.” Quoting statistics, the actor said: “Unfortunately, 14 of the 21 most polluted cities are in India. We all need to take action to improve its quality so that the air we share is healthy for everyone.”

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She added that air pollution impacts everyone without any exception. “While we watch beautiful sunsets and admire and cherish what nature does for us each day we can also take deep breaths and know that we will be healthy and well,” she said, optimistically.

delhi. air pollution Air pollution can have grave impacts on our overall health (Source: Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

“Each of us has the power to make a difference so take actions that you can,” she added as she suggested some steps to improve the air quality around us. Take a look:

*Encourage and support your government and businesses to take measures to improve air quality.

*Help communities make the change to subsidised gas for cooking.

*Switch to a plant-based diet.

*Cut single-use plastic products.

*Consider ways of travelling through means that pollute less.

*Conserve energy, turn off lights and electronics when not in use, and use appliances with high energy-efficiency ratings in your home. This will reduce emissions and save money.

* Reduce your waste, compost food, recycle non-organic trash, reuse grocery bags, and don’t burn trash

Commemorating the UN International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said on Wednesday, “When we commenced the Clean Air Mission programme last year, it was our endeavour to work on it from the grassroots level, as the topic of clean air is a matter of priority for the government.”

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