Awareness about air pollution-related terminologies low among urban poor in Delhi-NCR: Study - Hindustan Times

Awareness about air pollution-related terminologies low among urban poor in Delhi-NCR: Study

Apr 07, 2024 04:48 PM IST

Awareness about air pollution-related terminologies low among urban poor in Delhi-NCR: Study

New Delhi, Awareness about air pollution-related terminologies such as air quality index and particulate matter is "significantly" low among the urban poor in Delhi-NCR, according to a survey.

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The study conducted from December 2023 to January 2024 covered 500 people in Delhi and National Capital Region cities of Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurugram. For the survey, they were divided into two groups residents of informal settlements and slums, and formal middle-class settlements.

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"Awareness of air pollution-related terminology was significantly lower among the urban poor. Only 10 per cent of people were aware of air pollution terms like AQI and PM 2.5, while 71 per cent of middle-class settlements were aware," the survey "Saaf Saans" conducted by NGO Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group said.

PM 2.5 levels are fine particles that have a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers, more than 100 times thinner than a human hair and remain suspended in the air for longer durations and pose health risks as they can enter into the respiratory tract.

The study's findings also highlighted that 33 per cent of urban poor respondents perceived vehicles as the main cause of air pollution, 27 per cent construction activities and 20 per cent stubble burning.

Social media was found to be the most reliable source of information among 29 per cent of urban poor respondents and 26 per cent of middle-class respondents, the survey said.

"Middle-class respondents used air purifiers and indoor plants as measures to reduce exposure to air pollution, while the urban poor depended on face masks and increased water intake," it added.

Campaigns on social media and enforcing stricter regulations against "open burning" and construction violations among other measures could check air pollution the respondents said, according to the survey report.

The AQI in Delhi-NCR worsens during the winter months, prompting the government to impose several restrictions in a phased-manner, including on construction activities and plying of vehicles.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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