Air quality back to ‘severe’ category

Level of PM2.5 is four times more than safe limit as per Indian standards: CPCB

The air quality of Delhi was back in the “severe” category on Wednesday and is likely to improve by Thursday and further on Friday, according to government-run monitoring agency, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

On Wednesday, the average level of PM 2.5 — deadly respirable particles — was (265.5 ug/m3) more than four times the safe limit (60ug/m3) as per Indian standards in Delhi and NCR at 9 p.m., according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). On November 3, the PM2.5 level in Delhi and NCR had hit 625 ug/m3 — more than 10 times the safe limit. But the level is more than 10 times the safe limit (25 ug/m3) set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

People are advised to avoid all outdoor physical activities, give morning walk a miss and close windows of rooms. “Stop any activity if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty or fatigue and consult a doctor,” SAFAR said.

Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) on Wednesday was 408, up from Tuesday’s 369, according to the 4 p.m. bulletin by the CPCB, which is the average of the last 24 hours.

The air quality is severe due to low wind speed and low inversion layer height, according to SAFAR.

“Under the influence of approaching western disturbance, increased wind speed and scattered rainfall is expected by Thursday evening. SAFAR model suggests an improvement in AQI towards the lower end of the very poor category by December 12. By December 13, further improvement in AQI is forecast towards the lower end of the poor to the moderate category,” SAFAR said. “Only a few biomass fire counts have observed and no significant biomass fire PM2.5 contribution is expecting in the coming days,” it added.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 6:49:06 AM |

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