The weather has been the word on everyone’s lips these past few days and not just as awkward conversation fillers. Aside from poor visibility and gruelling heat, the PM2.5 readings are off the charts.
PM2.5 refers to atmospheric ‘particulate matter,’ which is basically any particles in the air that have a diameter of 2.5 micrometers such as dust. Dubai’s PM2.5 levels are 410 per cubic metre, which is twice the amount of Beijing’s - and almost as hazardous as it gets.
It’s important to take a bit more care and stay safe and healthy in this weather, whilst we hope and pray for rain, so here are some tips.
1. Invest in a humidifier
Dust loves dry air because it gets to float around freely. Using a humidifier will add moisture to the air, causing the dust to settle rather than stay up in the air for you to breathe in.
2. Use wet towels to stop dust coming in
If your doors or windows aren’t sealed properly and you tend to get sandy visitors creeping in, dampen towels and place them on the gaps of your window sills and doors. This will give dust something to stick to rather than entering your house uninvited.
3. Opt for glasses rather than contact lenses
Make sure you protect your eyes - you’ve only got one pair! Dust can creep in and get underneath your contact lenses, causing damage to your cornea that can be incredibly dangerous. Using eyedrops regularly will also help rid your eyes of any unwanted nasties.
4. Cover your mouth
Use a towel, an item of clothing or a mask to cover your mouth when you’re out and about. Breathing in dust can seriously hurt your lungs and lead to illnesses and infections so avoid where possible.
5. Protect your skin
Dry, dusty air can reek havoc on your skin. Apply moisturisers and SPF (yes, the sun is still out there) to your skin and face to create a protective barrier.
6. Ward off illnesses
Viruses and bacteria are rife during hot conditions. Make sure you’re eating healthily, taking your vitamins and staying hydrated to avoid getting sick.
7. Avoid heavy work outs
If you’ve noticed that you’re having off-days at the gym, it’s probably due to your respiratory system. Particles that you inhale could be having an impact on your lungs so take it easy!
8. Switch your car A.C to ‘internal’ mode
Avoid bringing excess dust into your car by circulating the internal air rather than pulling in air from outside. Some vehicles automatically alternate between the two modes so make sure yours isn’t!
9. Opt for a full home air clean
The condition of the air in your home has probably taken some damage. Make sure you and your family are breathing in fresh, pure air and use a disinfection service for the air in your home.
10. Stay indoors
Unless you really have to go outside, try to stay indoors!