Gurgaon beats Delhi to worse air quality of day
The air quality in the city was marked ‘very poor’ on Wednesday, worse than the pollution level in Delhi according to Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) air quality index report.Updated: Feb 15, 2017, 21:42 IST
The air quality in the city was marked ‘very poor’ on Wednesday, worse than the pollution level in Delhi according to Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) air quality index report.
The daily air quality report of 28 cities and town depicted that Delhi was marked as ‘poor’.
The level of particulate matter (PM)2.5 was 327 per cubic metre (µg/m³) against the permissible limit of 60 µg/m³. Delhi recorded a PM2.5 level of 297 μg/m3 on Wednesday.
The air quality index (AQI) is an indicator of the air pollution from the levels of primarily three pollutants -- nitrogen dioxide, PM10 and PM2.5. The index indicates air quality as ‘good’ for values of 0-100, moderate for 101-200 and poor for 201-300.
The index for pollutants at a monitoring location are calculated as per its 24-hour average concentration value (eight-hour cycle in case of carbon monoxide and ozone) and the range at which it is harmful for health. All pollutants cannot be monitored at all locations. Overall, AQI is calculated only if data of a minimum of three pollutants is available.
“We observed that the concentrations of PM 2.5 ranged between 80 μg/m3 and 450 μg/m3 over the last three months. Many factors play a crucial role here, especially unabated construction activities and rising number of vehicles,” Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director (research and advocacy) and head of the air pollution and clean transportation programme, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), said.
According to CPCB norms, prolonged exposure to ‘very poor,’ quality of air can lead to respiratory illness. PM2.5 is suspended particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter.The particles can settle in the lungs and worsen asthma and other respiratory problems.
Doctors also confirmed that there has been a rise in respiratory illnesses. According to the health department, this month, the civil hospital registered a 40% rise in asthma cases.
“The number of patients have increased from the last month by 40%. Residents above the age group of 60 are mostly affected,” Pardeep Sharma, superintend medial officer, civil hospital, Gurgaon, said.
Dr Piyush Goel, MD, FNB, consultant pulmonology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon, said, “There are two challenges for asthma patients this season. One -- they spend more time indoors assuming pollution is the only factor that could trigger an attack but they breathe air containing dust particles that triggers asthma. Two -- they step outdoors in the evening when the temperature is still low and they could have an asthma attack from inhaling the cold air.”
The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) said it was are working on a strategy to curb pollution. “We are making a list of elements that are polluting the city air and we will hold a meeting this week with the several civic departments asking them to take proper steps to lower the pollutants in the atmosphere,” Bhupender Singh, regional officer, HSPCB, said.