Delhi

Ozone pollution likely to spike in Capital

Visitors at the Red Fort in Old Delhi on a hot Tuesday afternoon.

Visitors at the Red Fort in Old Delhi on a hot Tuesday afternoon.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

With rising temperatures, surface ozone pollution is expected to increase in Delhi in the next three days, according to a forecast by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR).

“Surface ozone can lead to cough, shortness of breath, throat pain in short term and cause corrosion of linings of lungs and make lungs vulnerable to further infections in case of long-term exposure,” said Vivek Chattopadhyaya, senior programme manager of Clean Air Programme at Centre for Science and Environment, here.

“For people who already have lung and respiratory diseases, it would be further aggravated. They should avoid going out in the afternoon [noon to 3 p.m.) in high-traffic areas and other polluted areas,” he said.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) on Tuesday was in the ‘moderate’ category and is expected to slowly deteriorate to the higher end of moderate category in the next two days with ozone as a lead pollutant, according to SAFAR, a wing of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

“Maximum temperatures are likely to rise gradually by 2-3 degrees Celsius during the next three days which will increase the production of surface ozone. A significant increase in ozone pollution is predicted,” according to SAFAR.

What is surface ozone?

Surface ozone is not a primary pollutant and it is produced due to chemical reactions of NOx (nitrogen oxides), CO (carbon monoxide) in the presence of sunlight. “When temperature increases, the rate of production of ozone also increases. It can cause fatigue, breathlessness, and asthma,” a SAFAR official said.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 9:44:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/ozone-pollution-likely-to-spike-in-capital/article27281902.ece

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