I had dinner with a friend last night that heard I was going to be living in KTM for a while then proceeded to scare the cr*p out of me regarding pollution levels in the city. I have heard it was somewhat bad but he said that his friend got very sick with a horrible respiratory infection for almost 3 months after just visiting KTM for a few days.
Does anyone have advice for how best to cope as a new comer with air pollution? Does anyone wear masks to help filter? How bad are pollution levels in the city March-June?
Thanks so much!
Ok it is true Kathmandu is dirty but so are many cities. I don't wear a mask, I don't use an air purifier and i don't really see the need. I guess I have only been here a few weeks but I'm fine.
Don't get me wrong, kathmandu is dirty but i'd be more worried about the water!
The air quality is fairly bad, and some people respond to it better than others. Aside form the pollution the end of the dry season the air is quite dry and there is a lot of dust/silt in the air as well which can irritate people's lungs. I've never worn a mask and I find that the rates of people getting ill between those that wear the masks and those who don't do not vary, so I don't think they do much good.
Between March and June the air quality goes from about its worst to decent. The end of April and early May mark the end of the dry season and before the rains come the air is quite bad. Once the rains get the dust out of the air and disperse some of the pollution it's not nearly as bad. All this said, it really shouldn't be that big of an issue and the person that got a three month respitory infection from a short visit was just very unlucky.