WHO says air pollution claims 7m lives worldwide annually

29 October, 2018, 08:20 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Great Ormond Street is in an area where levels of fine particles are deemed dangerous to health

Out of 48 monitored station across NCR (including Delhi), only four had "moderate to poor" air quality while 23 stations have "severe or severe-plus" air quality and 21 were "very-poor".

"The prevailing meteorological conditions are not very favourable for dispersal of pollutants for next two days due to very low ventilation index and low wind speed", the IITM warned. "The latest data of stubble burning and the AQI has vindicated it", said Kahan Singh Pannu, secretary, agriculture, state nodal officer of the anti-stubble burning campaign. In fact, residents have also been asked to keep their windows shut and wear masks. Diwali falls on November 7.

Other measures included shutdown of coal and biomass based industries (excluding thermal and waste-to-energy plants) from November 4 to 10, intensification of efforts by transport department to check polluting vehicles and controlling traffic congestion in Delhi-NCR between November 1 and 10, according to the minutes of the meeting.

A haze has started engulfing Delhi and its surrounding areas, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal warning that the city would become a "gas chamber soon", as the burning of crop stubble has begun in neighbouring states.

The task force also issued an advisory to the public, asking them to avoid outdoor strenuous activities and minimise use of private vehicles.

The rest of the five monitoring stations showed "poor" air quality, which the CPCB says can cause breathing discomfort to most people on prolonged exposure.

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"These purifiers haven't been started".

He said, "On the road leading from Anand Vihar to Dilshad Garden, construction materials are lying and work is underway, but authorities are not doing anything about it". "So, that might affect the quality", an environmental expert said. "We need all government departments and real estate developers to uphold environmental stewardship rather than push for dilutions in environmental scrutiny as has been the trend since 2004".

Saurabh Bhasin, one of the three advocates who brought the firecrackers case to the Supreme Court on behalf of the advocates' young children, said the focus is now on finding ways to force implementation.

In NCR, Bagpat, Bulandshahr, Ghaziabad and Sector 125 Noida in Uttar Pradesh as well as Faridabad and Gurugram in Haryana had "severe-plus" air quality. While both are considered major atmospheric pollutants, PM2.5, in particular, poses greater harm as its fine particles can easily be inhaled into the respiratory tract.

Along with its more risky cousin PM2.5, it causes Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), aggravates asthma and leads to cancer in the long run.

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