Air toxicity in national Capital higher than previous years: Reports
The efforts of the government agencies to enforce ban on Chinese crackers and their persuasive campaigns for an environment-friendly Diwali seems to have gone down the drains as the data of the pollution department shows major hike in almost all the parameters of pollution. According to the data released by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), PM 2.5, PM 10, CO, SO2, and sound levels all went up this Diwali in comparison to previous years.
“A detailed analysis shows that the air quality dipped after 7 pm due to bursting of fire crackers. Pollutants due to the crackers and a calm condition (no significant wind movement) attributed to the present situation,” said a statement from DPCC, Delhi Government. Not only did air pollution go from bad to worse, noise pollution too was high during the bursting of crackers on Diwali. The teams of DPCC monitored realtime sound pollution at five locations in the city. “Sound pollution ranged between 66.1 dB and 75.8 dB which was marginally higher than last year’s 65.9 dB to 74.8 dB,” added the statement.
The figures of PM 2.5 and PM 10 figures from 6 pm on October 30 till 6 am on October 31 were also found to be higher than previous year. According to the report, the 24-hour average of PM 2.5, particles that measure less than 2.5 microns in diameter, ranged between 180 micro g/m3 (mgpcm) 440 mgpcm. These figures were much higher than the prescribed standards of 60 mgpcm of PM 2.5. In case of PM 2.5, the average concentration recorded in 2015 was between 184 and 369 mgpcm.
Similarly, on Diwali night, PM 10 ranged from 448 mgpcm to 939 mgpcm in Delhi as against the national safe standard of 100 mgpcm, DPCC said. This figure was also lower on Diwali in 2015, as average PM 10 was recovered between 296 and 778 mgpcm while in 2014, the same was recorded between 421 and 790 mgpcm. According to experts, prolonged exposure to PM 2.5 and PM 10 beyond the safe limits can harm the respiratory system as the ultra fine particulates can find their way deep into the lungs and also enter the bloodstream.
The sulphur dioxide (SO2), which can aggravate asthma, also breached the safe standards, indicating that the crackers contained a high level of sulphur. It averaged between 20-131 mgpcm while it was between 26-64 mgpcm in 2015.