The air pollution is one of the main causes of death in the world. Several cities are on the radar of WHO (World Health Organization), which are about to touch the dangerous level in terms of air pollution. Sadly, India is one of the countries with a maximum number of most polluted cities in the world and Delhi is on top of the list.
The pollution levels in Delhi NCR have reached an all-time high in 17 years and scientists and doctors are warning of possibilities of very major health concerns. Especially, on the onset of Diwali, the air quality index of Delhi NCR soars to new heights. This year the air quality index has already crossed the normal levels.
Despite the cracker ban, air pollution levels breached the emergency standards on Diwali night. But it is also clear that without the ban on the sale of firecrackers, the levels would have been far worse.
What are the various causes of Air Pollution in Delhi NCR?
- Air pollution in Delhi’s National Capital Region (NCR) is due to many factors. The air gets polluted from human activities such as vehicle emissions, industries, construction and residential fuel burning and natural sources like dust. This is one of the main causes of air pollution.
- The second factor contributing to the air pollution is the heavy concentration of particulate matter due to meteorological conditions. In winters, cool air causes “inversions” that stagnates the air and traps pollution close to the ground. Giving rise to smog.
- Airflow patterns from northern regions pick up emissions as they move over the densely urbanized regions of Punjab and Haryana where farmers burn the straw in their fields and pull this pollution into Delhi.
- Pre-monsoon dust storms also contribute to air pollution in the region.
- City activities also contribute to the air pollution. The Delhi NCR generates 10,000 tons of municipal solid waste per day, much of which is burned adding particulate pollution to the air.
- In addition, Delhi has more than 7.4 million vehicles on road, with an additional 1,200 added each day and the result is Air Pollution.
Image Source: The Telegraph
With air pollution hitting ‘severe’ levels and thick smog blanketing various areas of the national capital, many residents are turning to anti-pollution masks to help reduce their personal health risks from inhaling toxic air pollutants.
The diseases caused by inhaling polluted air are on the rise. Few of the common symptoms are exhaustion, breathlessness, coughing, rhinitis, asthma, throat irritation, burning of eyes.
Generally wearing an anti-pollution mask is recommended when the AQI score exceeds 200, or a PM 2.5 concentration is 150 ug/m3. In Delhi NCR, the PM 2.5 level is around 400 ug/m3 on normal days.
An anti-pollution mask is the need of the hour. At least it can help to minimize the effect of pollution while walking out of homes and straight into the gas chamber that the city has become.
Feature Image Source: Firstpost