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December 3, 2013

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How to avoid the danger from heavy haze

Heavy haze can be dangerous for patients with cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, and especially so for those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, doctors say.

Zhu Huili, dean of Huadong Hospital’s pneumology department, says haze could lead to acute attacks, cause irreversible damage to the respiratory system and increase the risk of death from such diseases.

Such people should avoid going out in heavily polluted conditions, especially in early morning or late evening, as air quality is usually worse at such times. Protective measures include using masks and air purifiers. Normal masks cannot obstruct PM2.5, tiny airborne particles hazardous to health.

However, Zhu said the effect of so-called dust protective masks is limited, and the impermeable N90 and N95 masks might make people uncomfortable.

Using a humidifier to raise indoor humidity can help ease the density of PM2.5.

People should take off coats immediately on going indoors and keep them separately from their other clothes, doctors say. They should also wash their hands and face to get rid of particulate matter attached to the skin. Rinsing the mouth and cleaning nasal cavities is also recommended.

TCM experts say platycodon grandiflorus tea is good for the lungs. Other foods that can help include radish, lotus, Chinese yam, saussurea and siraitia grosvenorii. Barley porridge can also ease coughing and is especially good for children.

Fresh fruit and vegetables rich in Vitamin C are recommended, such as pear, loquat and orange.

The lack of sun may affect the body’s ability to absorb Vitamin D and people should eat food rich in the vitamin, such as sea fish.



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