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Delhi air turns toxic again

Hazy: Traffic moves on a smoggy day in New Delhi on Friday.   | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV

Delhi’s air quality deteriorated to the “severe” category on Friday but is expected to slightly improve to the higher end of the “very poor” category over the next two days.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) of the Capital was 406 on Friday, up from 400 on Thursday, according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) 4 p.m. bulletin, which is the average of the past 24 hours. An AQI between 301 and 400 is considered “very poor” and between 401 and 500 “severe”.

The current spike in pollution is chiefly due to a drop in wind speed and a fall in the height up to which pollutants can be distributed in the atmosphere.

Local surface winds are likely to increase slightly in the next two days and increase dispersion of pollutants leading to slight improvement, but the AQI is expected to remain in the “very poor” band, according to a statement issued by the Government-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research). A significant improvement in AQI is expected from Monday due to high wind speed.

On Friday, the contribution of stubble burning in neighbouring States to PM2.5 (a chief pollutant) in Delhi was only 8%, according to SAFAR.

Severe air pollution levels affect healthy people and “seriously impacts” those with existing diseases, according to the CPCB.

Doctors in many hospitals said they witnessed a rise in the number of patients coming to hospitals with respiratory problems this year since the spike in pollution.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 9:35:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/delhi-air-turns-toxic-again/article37713699.ece

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