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5 ways to protect yourself and family from unhealthy air in Accra

Harmattan in Ghana


Is harmattan back? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the hazy and dense weather plaguing Ghana in late February is part of the harmattan season.

This harmattan-ish weather has significantly affected air quality and visibility, raising concerns for motorists and individuals with respiratory issues.

Poor air quality can have dire consequences for your health, especially if exposed to it for an extended period of time. Here are some tips for avoiding poor air quality:

5Stay informed.

Keep an eye on the air quality index in your area and avoid going outside if it is poor. Check the air quality index on websites, apps, or local news. If the air quality is poor, try to limit your time spent outside.

4Wear a mask.

President Nana Addo wearing a face mask
President Nana Addo wearing a face mask

Wear a mask if you must go outside during this high-pollution period.

Masks with N95 or higher ratings are designed to filter out tiny particles.

3Maintain a clean indoor space.

This is the time to clean your homes on a regular basis to reduce the amount of dust and other pollutants that can accumulate.

We recommend using a vacuum with a HEPA filter to clean carpets and upholstery and an air purifier to improve indoor air quality. During periods of poor air quality, keep your windows and doors closed to prevent polluted air from entering your home.

2Avoid outdoor exercise.

Consider staying indoors as much as possible on days with high pollution. Avoid exercising outside when the air quality is poor. Try working out at a gym with good air filtration systems.

1Stay away from smoking and smokers.

Smoking increases the risks you face during extreme air pollution
Smoking increases the risks you face during extreme air pollution

Smoking and inhaling secondhand smoke exposure can exacerbate the effects of air pollution.

If you smoke, think about quitting and avoid being around other smokers.

Other long-term practices to reduce air pollution includes regularly maintaining your car to help to reduce pollutants emitted by your vehicle and encouraging green practices like planting and shrubs to absorb pollutants and improve air quality in your neighborhood.

Even if you don’t notice any immediate effects from poor air quality, long-term exposure can have serious health consequences, including respiratory problems, eye irritation, skin irritation, decreased lung function, fatigue and dizziness.

Therefore it’s critical to take precautions and limit your exposure to pollutants.

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