Air quality in the national capital deteriorated alarmingly a day after Diwali as pollution levels spiked more than five times higher than normal leaving many at the risk of respiratory problems.
The Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), which directly affects breathing, has gone up by five times from the national ambiance air quality standard, said scientists from System of Air quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).
"The 24-hours average of PM10 was recorded at 427 mg per cubic metre and PM2.5 was at 278 mpcm, almost five times higher than the prescribed standard of 100 mpcm and 60 mpcm respectively," said senior scientist Dr Gufran Beig at SAFAR, which is jointly run by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and India Meteorological Department.
"These pollutants can harm the heart and brain as well. People with existing heart or lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart disease, or ischemic heart disease are at increased risk of admission to hospitals based on the severity of already existing problem," he said.
Since 10pm onwards, an upward trend was witnessed at all six air quality monitoring stations in Delhi.
According to real time ambient air quality data of Delhi Pollution Control Committee, PM2.5 was at its peak at 5.30am and recorded 724 microgram per cubic meter (mpcm) in RK Puram.
In Punjabi Bagh, the PM2.5 was at its peak at 1am and was recorded at 755 mpcm, while PM10 was recorded as 1,490 mpcm highest at 3.30am.
At Mandir Marg, the particulate matter PM2.5 was at its peak at 2.30am and recorded 984 mpcm while PM10 was recorded as 1,200 mpcm highest at 2am.
The peak pollution level monitored in Civil Lines was PM2.5 at 999.85 mpcm from 11pm to 2.30am and the PM10 was 1,000 mpcm from 9pm to 3am.
At Anand Vihar, PM2.5 was recorded highest at 814 mpcm at 1am while PM10 was highest at 1500 mpcm during midnight.
PM2.5 was at its highest at IGI airport at 347.41 mpcm around 11.30pmHTand PM10 was recorded the highest at 404.98 mpcm during the same time.