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PM2.5, PM10 Levels Were Above Safe Limit In Delhi Throughput Summer: Report

Key pollution ingredients PM2.5 and PM10 were far above the safe limit in Delhi throughout the summer between March and June this year, a report by Climate Trends and Respirer Living Sciences said

PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels were higher in 2022 compared to 2021 in most of the cities during summer

New Delhi: Key pollution ingredients PM2.5 and PM10 were far above the safe limit in Delhi throughout the summer between March and June this year, a report by Climate Trends and Respirer Living Sciences said on Wednesday (July 6). It also said that nitrogen dioxide too went beyond the safe limit for two months March and April this year.This analysis by Climate Trends and Respirer Living Sciences through National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) tracker showed that Delhi was far more polluted this summer than the previous year.

The NCAP tracker had analysed 10 non-attainment cities, including Delhi, and found that the national capital pollutants were above the permissible limits. The CPCB’s annual average permissible limits for PM 2.5, PM 10 and NO2 are 40 ug/m3, 60 ug/m3 and 40 ug/m3 respectively. The World Health Organization’s safe limits are lower at 5 ug/m3, 15 ug/m3 and 10 ug/m3 for the three pollutants respectively. It also showed that while many other metro cities showed some improvement over the months of March, April, May and June, Delhi remained polluted over the safe limit throughout the summer.

Also Read: Air Pollution Is Reducing Life Expectancy In India By 5 Years And In Delhi By 10 Years: Study

Evidently, the PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels were higher this year compared to 2021 in most of the cities during summer. For instance, Delhi’s PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels were higher in 2022 as compared to 2021 across the four months except in the case of PM 10 levels in March, the study stated.

According to the study, the country suffered multiple heatwaves since March this year leading to high power demand which resulted in more coal burning in thermal power plants (roughly 75 per cent of power source). “Extreme heat combined with stagnant air during a heatwave increases not only the amount of ozone pollution but also particulate pollution. The westerly winds also carry dust adding to the PM 10 levels. Locally, these prolonged dry spells during the summer months also mean more dust resuspension in the air.

Adding to the summer woes was the poor show of pre-monsoon, especially for northwestern plains which are also hotspots for some of the highest levels of air pollution, the study pointed out. It further pointed out that between March and May, northwest India saw a large rainfall deficit of 63 per cent, followed by central India 39 per cent. In June, there was an eight per cent deficit in the countrywide cumulative rainfall.

Also Read: Study Reveals Air Pollution Is Responsible For 1.8 Lakh Excess Deaths In Tropical Cities

“This year was climatologically one of the hottest summers that we have seen in a long time. Extremely hot weather combined with winds has led to the resuspension of coarse particles which is clearly visible in the high PM 10 values across most cities. The rising temperatures during the heatwave have also pushed up the demand for air conditioning resulting in higher coal consumption and hence this is reflected in higher PM 2.5 levels,” said Prof. S N Tripathi from Civil Engineering Department of IIT Kanpur and steering committee member of NCAP.

Also Read: 99% Of The Global Population Breathes Air That Exceeds Air Quality Limits: WHO

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.


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