Delhi is under severe health threat after the Air Quality Index took a major rise within 24 hours of Diwali celebration in the territory.
The Delhi government will be taking up the initiative in distributing masks among school-going students from Friday onwards, said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. A total of fifty lakh N95 masks would be distributed to students in both government and private schools in Delhi. The mask will be kept inside a kit which will be having two pieces of N95, good quality masks for tackling smog. The mask will be distributed for one week.
“I will also distribute masks among students on Friday. We are getting delivery of masks”- he stated
The air quality index released on Monday settled for a ‘very poor’ category at 368, henceforth this is the worst recorded AQI in the national capital since February this year. The air quality went aggressively beyond the permissible limits due to the continuous bursting of fire-crackers late at night.
According to the Air Quality Index between 0-100 the air is considered “good and satisfactory” bracket and 101-200 is termed as “moderate”, while between 201-300, 301-400, and 40-500 falls in the “poor”, “very poor”, and “severe” category, respectively and above 500 is “severe-plus emergency” category.
The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standards, an AQI of 10 is considered as safe.
The air pollution in a few places of Delhi has been recorded as worst as per Delhi Pollution Control Committee’s (DPCC).
Poor quality air in the territory will irreversibly damage the lungs of 2.2 million of 50 percent of all children. The Ministry of Earth Sciences recently published a research paper in October 2018 attributing almost 41% of PM2.5 air pollution in Delhi to vehicular emissions, 21.5% to dust and 18% to industries.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) deems air pollution as a threat to human health and is unsafe every time you inhale, microscopic particles are being drawn into your lungs. They get into your bloodstream, causing cancers, strokes and heart disease. It also hampers children’s growth and development and even goes on to the extent of reducing one’s intelligence.
The most polluted city by a new study by IQAir AirVisual and Greenpeace has identified that Gurugram situated in the Southwest of New Delhi is the most polluted city on earth. There, average air pollution levels in 2018 were more than 13 times the level permitted under WHO guidelines.
The particle matters known as PM2.5 are microscopic particles that are 20 times smaller than the width of a human hair that is hazardous to health. These can be metals, organic compounds or the by-products of combustion from coal-fired power stations, wood and charcoal-burning stoves, vehicles, and factories.
In the unprecedented rat race for a superior economy comes with an unwanted side effect of air pollution. Ambitious policies are a need of the hour to reduce the toxicity in the environment.