Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Wondering About Air Quality After Diwali? Here’s How You Check It

A thick haze engulfed ITO on Diwali day A thick haze engulfed ITO on Diwali day
Ellis Copeland | 10 November, 2018, 17:10

World Health Organization asserts that there is a close relationship between exposure to high concentrations of small particulates (PM10 and PM2.5) and increased mortality or morbidity, both daily and over time, and PM 2.5 particles, in particular, have been seen to contribute to cardiovascular and respiratory disease, as well as cancers.

The national capital saw its first smog episode on November 5.

A thick cloud of toxic smog almost 10 times the recommended limit continued to envelop Delhi on Friday as the air quality deteriorated and was. recorded under "hazardous" category.

Diwali is always one of the worst times of year for air quality, as firework smoke mixes with auto exhaust fumes, factory emissions and construction dust.

However, violations were reported from across Delhi, including areas like Anand Vihar, ITO, Jahangirpuri Mayur Vihar Extension, Lajpat Nagar, Lutyens Delhi, IP Extension and Dwarka. Till November 10, construction activities have already been stopped and trucks, except those carrying essential goods, have been barred from entering the city. "At present, it continues to be in "severe" but likely to improve further and will become "very poor" by afternoon and will improve further by Saturday", the Centre-run research institute said. According to the SAFAR, the moisture in the air on Wednesday was normal, thus reducing the pollution load slightly.

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The Supreme Court had allowed bursting of firecrackers from 8 PM to 10 PM on Diwali and allowed sale of only "green crackers" which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals.

Sumaira Abdulali, founder of Awaaz Foundation, which has been campaigning against noise pollution for years, said, "All I can say is that the Supreme Court's guidelines were flouted, but the state government and its machinery tried their best to check people and adhere to the permissible time limit".

Air quality readings showed very poor and severe levels which, over a long period, can lead to respiratory illness. On Friday, the AQI was recorded at 421, which falls in the "severe" category, according to the the Central Pollution Control Board.

The top court had directed the police to ensure that banned firecrackers were not sold and in case of violation, the station house officer (SHO) of the area would be held responsible.

Twitter users took to the microblogging site posting pictures of people burning crackers wearing masks and slammed the "mass contempt" of Supreme Court's order.

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