Diwali sends pollution levels spiralling in Delhi. BY POLLUTION CVONTROL BOARD.

Diwali sends pollution levels spiralling in Delhi
Jayashree NandiJayashree Nandi,TNN | Oct 25, 2014, 01.49 AM IST


An analysis by the Central Pollution Control Board in the run-up to Diwali day also showed very high levels of carbon monoxide and benzene. In short, Delhiites were exposed to unhealthy air both on Diwali and the day after.
NEW DELHI: The sustained anti-firecracker campaign, clampdown on Chinese crackers and a 10pm deadline do not seem to have made the city breathe any easier this Diwali than during the last one.

There was no significant improvement in air quality compared to last year. The range of average PM 2.5 (fine, respirable particles) may have reduced from 201-533 microgram per cubic metre last Diwali to 145-500 microgram per cubic metre but this has been negated by a substantial rise in oxides of nitrogen. An analysis by the Central Pollution Control Board in the run-up to Diwali day also showed very high levels of carbon monoxide and benzene. In short, Delhiites were exposed to unhealthy air both on Diwali and the day after.

The marginal dip in some pollutants was due to the warm weather and breeze that helped in dispersal. Air quality remained very poor with average PM 10 (coarse particles) and PM 2.5 at least five times the safe standard at almost all monitoring stations.

In fact, a random check of real-time data on the website of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on Diwali evening showed PM2.5 levels peak to about 16 times higher than the standard!

There was also an increase in oxides of nitrogen (NO2) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels which are linked to respiratory conditions and reduced lung function. "The maximum average of NO2 has certainly shown an increase over last year - it has shot up by more than two times the standard. This could be linked to the heavy traffic on Diwali and before Diwali while high SO2 levels are linked to use of sulphur-rich crackers. I don't see any significant improvement compared to previous years," said Anumita Roychowdhury, head of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

The CPCB's analysis of pre-Diwali and Diwali day air pollution pointed at certain pollutants that are otherwise ignored. Carbon monoxide levels, for instance, peaked to 4,328 microgram per cubic metre as against a safe standard of 2,000 microgram per cubic metre. In the run-up to Diwali, on October 20, levels of carcinogen benzene peaked to 22 micrograms per cubic metre as against the safe standard of 5 microgram per cubic metre. Benzene is a component of crude oil and petrol. The levels of PM2.5 — particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres (these fine particles can penetrate lungs easily) — more  

View all 7 comments Below 7 comments
Thanks Raja ji more  
It is more than enough that we all care and share with each other. more  
Wali ji WHO CARES FOR PEOPLES SUFFERING LOGO KI TO DIWALI HAI AUR PATIENTS KA DIWALA HAI GOD PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON THE PATIENTS more  
Her Bar Diwali se HEALTH KA DIWALA particularly Asthmatic, Heart patients who are badly effected by the smoke and noise pollution. more  
Thanks Ramesh ji more  
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