Air Pollution in Delhi
Delhi is the capital territory of India and, now, is not only known for its heritage but for its bad air pollution as well. The air quality of Delhi during this time of year is severe and worst of any major city in the world. Poor Air in India is estimated to kill about 2 million people every year, it is the fifth largest killer in India. Even the Supreme Court has said that “Delhi has become worse than narak”. Breathing in Delhi is equal to inhaling 17 cigarettes a day thus causing lungs and chronic respiratory problems.
There are various factors contributing to pollution in Delhi, burning of the crops(Agricultural Stubble Burning) by farmers in neighboring states-Punjab, Haryana, U.P. and others, road dust, vehicular emissions, smog(smoke and fog), cold weather and particulate matter in air etc.
Air quality or ambient/outdoor air pollution is represented by the annual mean concentration of particulate matter (PM), PM10(particles smaller than 10 microns) and PM2.5(particles smaller than 2.5 microns, about 25 to 100 times thinner than a human hair). Its rate lies between (301-400) in the months of Oct-Dec but can reach to (450 – above) i.e. hazardous, in many parts of the capital.
Effects of poor air quality
On children,2.2 million children in Delhi have irreversible lung damage due to the poor quality of the air. In addition, research shows that pollution can lower children immune system and increase the risks of cancer, epilepsy, diabetes. Children are more vulnerable to the negative effects of air pollution as they are growing and developing which means that they breathe a higher rate of air per kilogram of their body weight. They also spend more time outside and are thus more exposed to it.
On Adults,Poor air quality is a cause of reduced lung capacity, headaches, sore throats, coughs, fatigue, lung cancer, and early death. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in case the PM (≤ pp10) is not controlled, the aerosols would work as virus carriers/host in the rapid spread of the pandemic.
In order to keep a check on the air quality rate the Government of India has setup various Air Quality Monitoring Stations in different parts of the capital under the guidance of IMD department. Water sprinklers, Odd-Even formula and numerous other measures are taken by the gov.
It is hereby, in hands of the residents of Delhi to control the air pollution and maintain the air quality index, as, by not violating the protocols set by gov. as well as discarding the articles that adds to air pollution, and using eco-friendly products.
Written by — DAKSH MALHOTRA