Thursday, February 18, 2016

AIR QUALITY IN DELHI

AIR QUALITY IN DELHI



Air is a precious resource that most of us take for granted. Clean air is essential to maintaining the delicate balance of life on this planet — not just for humans, but wildlife, vegetation, water and soil. Air supplies us with oxygen, which is essential for our bodies to live. Pure air is a mixture of several gases that are invisible and odorless. It consists of about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and less than 1% of argon, carbon dioxide, and other gases — as well as varying amounts of water vapor.

WHAT IS AIR QUALITY ????
The term “Air Quality” means the state of the air around us. Good air quality refers to clean, clear, unpolluted air. Poor air quality is a result of a number of factors, including emissions from various sources, both natural and “man-made.” Poor air quality occurs when pollutants reach very high levels of concentrations that endanger human health and the environment. Air quality is degraded when unwanted chemicals or other materials are released into the air in large amounts that are harmful for the health of people, plants, animals, and our environment. The quality of the air depends on the amount of pollutants, the rate at which they are released from various sources, and how quickly the pollutants disperse in the surrounding area. Air pollution can affect indoor air quality, as well. Indoor air pollutants include cigarette smoke, mould, dust mites, pet dander, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and radon gas.



AIR QUALITY STATUS IN DELHI
According to a WHO survey of 1600 world cities, the air quality of Delhi along with Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh and Raipur in Chhattisgarh is the worst of any major city in the world. The world's average PM10 levels, for the period 2008 and 2013, based on data of 1600 cities in 91 countries, range from 26 to 208 micrograms per cubic meter of air (μg/m3), with the world average being 71 μg/m3. 13 of the 25 cities worldwide with the highest levels of PM are in India. In 2010, the year of the WHO survey, the average PM10 level in Delhi was 286. In 2013, the PM2.5 level was 153. These levels are considered very unhealthy. In Gwalior, the city with the worst air quality in India, the PM10, and PM2.5 levels were 329 and 144 respectively. The PM levels in Delhi have become worse since the WHO survey. In December–January 2015, in Delhi, an average PM2.5 level of 226 was noted by US embassy monitors in Delhi. Safe levels for PM according to the WHO's air quality guidelines are 20 μg/m3 (annual mean) for PM10 and 10 μg/m3 (annual mean) for PM2.5.

METHODS FOR MEASURING AIR QUALITY
A number of methods can be used to measure air quality, which includes permanent monitoring stations in communities, mobile instrumentation, and industrial stack monitoring. These monitoring stations measure the presence of contaminants in the air, such as carbon monoxide (CO),nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and hydrogen sulphide (H2S). Contaminants are measured in one of two ways: either through continuous (real-time) monitoring where air is constantly measured and the data is automatically transmitted to a central database and through non continuous or discrete monitoring where contaminants collect on a filter or canister over a specified period of time (such as one, three or six days). Then a technician collects the filter or canister and sends it to a certified laboratory for measurement and analysis. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has air quality monitoring stations in Mathura Road, IMD Delhi (Jor Bagh area), IGI Airport, IITM Delhi, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital (Ghaziabad area), Dhirpur, Delhi University, Pitampura, Aya Nagar (Gurgaon), and Noida. The air pollution monitor of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi covers the area of Chanakyapuri. PM 2.5 is a standard recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and allows us to compare against U.S. standard measures.   
The Air Quality Index According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is given below 
Air Quality Index  (AQI) 
PM2.5  
Health Effects Statement
PM 2.5
Cautionary Statement

Good 
(0-50)
PM2.5 air pollution poses little or no risk.
None

Moderate
(51-100)
Unusually sensitive individuals may experience respiratory symptoms.
Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
(101-150)
Increasing likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals, aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly.
People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Unhealthy       
(151-200)
Increased aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly; increased respiratory effects in general population.
People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion; everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.
Very Unhealthy 
(201-300)
Significant aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly; increase in respiratory effects in general population.
People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
Hazardous
(301-500)
Serious aggravation of heart or lung disease in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly.
Everyone should avoid all physical activity outdoors; people with heart or lung disease, and children should remain indoors.


Air Pollution in India: Real time Air Quality Index Visual Map- 17th February, 2016 


Air Pollution in India: Real Time Air Quality Index Visual Map for Delhi- 17th Feb, 2016


Source for US Air Quality Standards: http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/airqualitydataemb.html
Source: 

Source for Air Quality Map-


1 comment:

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