CSE welcomes release of National Air Quality Index

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has welcomed the release of the much-awaited National Air Quality Index (AQI), which will be used to inform people about daily air quality and provide advisories on health consequences. The AQI was released here on Monday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“It will tell how clean or polluted the air is, and what associated health effects might be of concern. This can help people take precautions on ‘bad air’ days,’’ noted a release issued by CSE.

Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director in-charge of the clean air and sustainable cities programme at CSE, said: “For the first time, the government has taken the initiative to inform people about daily air quality with simple descriptions that they can understand. It is cautioning them about possible health consequences. This can help build public awareness, as well as public support for hard decisions needed to get cleaner air.”

The new AQI has been hosted on the website of the Central Pollution Control Board. About 10 cities that have the capacity for real time air quality monitoring are expected to be linked — a continuous 24-hour average data will be available daily from them. The AQI has been developed for six pollutants: PM 2.5, PM10, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, ozone, and carbon monoxide.

Air pollution levels have been classified in six bands along with simple descriptions. Each band has cut points of concentration with a colour code to visually express the level of severity. Air quality is classified good if the pollution levels are at least 50 per cent below the regulatory standards.

The government has also taken additional steps to report on two toxic pollutants — lead and ammonia — that also have harmful effects over time.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 2:34:12 PM |

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