Wet spell brings down air pollution

April 05, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 07:49 am IST - New Delhi:

The unseasonal wet spell, while giving the people of Delhi a respite from the heat, had another bonus — bringing down pollution levels in the city ranked the most polluted by the World Health Organization. A comparative analysis of the real-time ambient air quality data of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has shown a significant drop in the pollution level.

Online data recorded a level even lower than 60 microgramme/cubic metre, which is the ambient air quality standard set by the Central Pollution Control Board for dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter that pose a health risk because they can accumulate in the respiratory system.

Centre for Science and Environment programme manager Vivek Chhattopadhyay said the rainy season records reduced pollution levels while the winter and the summer seasons are the worst hit.

“The particulate matter level reduces because dust particles are soluble in rain drops,” Mr. Chhattopadhyay told IANS.

The busy neighbourhood of R.K Puram in South Delhi, for instance, registered the highest level at 38 mcg/cu.m during the three days the data was recorded between March 29 and April 4. It was the week Delhi received untimely showers. This is in sharp contrast with the levels recorded during March 22 to 28 that were over four times higher than the standard, with the highest touching 280 mcg/cu.m and the lowest settling at 80 mcg/cu.m.

However, Mr. Chhattopadhyay was quick to caution that the “good news” would not last for long because “the dust particles will rise up again when the rain stops”. – IANS

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