Air Quality worsens in metro cities of India, Delhi tops the list

Air Quality worsens in metro cities of India

Though India has made a lot of progress in improving its air quality, average nationwide levels of major air pollutants have dropped by between 25–45 per cent in India over the last few years.

The Central Pollution Control Board has now monitored four air pollutants which are responsible for worsening air quality. These are sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, suspended particulate matter and respirable particulate matter.

These are identified as target air pollutants for monitoring. These are being cared for at 308 operating stations of 115 cities. These are spread over 25 states and 4 Union Territories of the country. The monitoring of meteorological parameters like wind, its speed and direction as well as relative humidity plus temperature has been combined with the monitoring of air quality throughout the centres, spread over the different regions. The precise monitoring of these pollutants is being carried out for 24 hours every day.

Most of the Indian cities violate country’s air quality PM10 targets. Here respirable particulate matter pollution poses a prime challenge for India. Some cities have displayed improvement than others though.

The somewhat decreasing trend has been observed in PM10 levels in a number of cities like Solapur and Ahmedabad over the last few years. This may be due to few measures were taken at local level to reduce sulphur in diesel and its strict enforcement by the government.

A downward trend has also been observed in sulphur dioxide levels in habitable colonies of cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Bhopal during last few years. The downtrend in sulphur dioxide levels may be due to recently introduced clean fuel standards. The increasing use of LPG as domestic fuel instead of coal or fuelwood as well as the use of CNG instead of diesel in certain vehicles have also contributed to the lesser trend.

A downward trend has also been noticed in nitrogen dioxide levels in some areas of Bhopal and Solapur due to recently introduced vehicle emission standards, and the increasing use of LPG as domestic fuel instead of coal or fuelwood.

Most Indian cities usually living under acceptable levels of suspended particulate matter. This may be the result of refuse and biomass burning, vehicles, power plant emissions as well as industrial sources.

The monitoring stations, working in the country have reported lower levels of PM10 and suspended particulate matter only during the rainy seasons. It may be caused by the wet deposition and air scrubbing by rainfall.

Higher levels of particulates were found during cold months of December and January, due to lower mixing heights and more calm conditions.

In other words, we can infer that India’s air quality get worsened in winter months and improves with the knock of the monsoon season.

The annual SOx and NOx emissions level and its violations in industrial areas of the country were found to be significantly lower than the emission and violations in residential areas of India

Out of the four metros of the country, air pollution was much worse in Delhi, every year over a five year period. Kolkata experienced a close second, which was followed by Mumbai. Chennai air pollution was found to be least of the four.

Recent reports believe that problems with pollution are increasing, especially because of widespread use of vehicular transport.

Historically, In May 2014 the World Health Organisation had declared New Delhi as the most polluted city in the world. After two years, the Great Smog of Delhi was seen as an environmental event. New Delhi and adjoining areas were seen wrapped then, in a dense blanket of smog, which was said to be the worst in 17 years.

Delhi’s air quality worsens to a serious level

Delhi’s air quality worsens to a serious level

The air we breath in at the National Capital Region is deteriorated to a serious level due to a number of recent dust storms. The doctors have cautioned that people with respiratory conditions better keep the safe and avoid loitering in the out. It has also been recommended to the masses to wear masks.

It is said that for people with asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease or emphysema even small increases in dust concentration can result in worsening of their symptoms. So, it is better to take precautions.

The research has indicated that the dust particles small enough to be inhaled may cause irritation in a number of organs, including the eyes. They experience coughing, sneezing, hay fever and asthma attacks.

It is said that young children and elderly people are also more likely to develop health problems from long term exposure to high levels of dust.

It is found that an index anything above 100 is considered unhealthy by the Central Pollution Control Board. The average level was more than 800 yesterday, which is over four times the average air pollution recorded this month.

A doctor of a known Super Speciality Hospital explains that dust pollution can result in serious lung and heart diseases. These particles usually consist of sand, pollens, dust, ash and other very fine particles. Dust pollution seems to be a major concern because dust can cause a number of life threatening diseases in humans ranging from minor allergies to fatal lung and heart diseases.

Doctors have advised people to stay indoors and wear masks. They say dust particles can be tiny up to a few micrometers, which are small enough to enter our respiratory system via our nasal pores. To prevent the ill effects of thist pollution, it is recommended to wear masks when venturing out.

Moreover, people with existing respiratory and heart conditions seems to be at greater risk of developing long-term health problems. People who experience shortness of breath or hay fever after breathing dust should consult their doctors immediately.

Due to recent spells of the dust storms, air quality has come to a low level. The air quality index between 0-50 is referred as “Good”, while 51-100 “Satisfactory”, if it is 101-200, it can be considered as “Moderate”, 201-300 “Poor”, 301-400 “Very Poor”, and 401-500 can be regarded as “Severe”.