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Delhi pollution: How to track air quality, all you need to know

The air pollution levels in the country and specially in Delhi have reached alarming rates.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: November 6, 2016 3:13 pm
delhi pollution, delhi pollution news, smog, smog in delhi, delhi pollution index, delhi pollution data, delhi pollution health, air pollution, air pollution in india, india news, indian express, Smog that enveloped New Delhi this past week was the worst in the last 17 years. The concentration of PM2.5, averaged close to 700 micrograms per cubic meter. (PTI Photo)

The air pollution levels in Delhi have reached an alarming rate, just a week after Diwali. With schools in Delhi being shut down to rise in the cases of respiratory diseases, the worsening air quality has had on effect on everyone. On Sunday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who compared the city to a “gas chamber”, has announced a slew of measures to tackle the crisis. Ban on construction activity and shutting down of the Badarpur power plant were among the measures announced.  With no signs of the smog letting up, we list down how one can track air pollution.

Websites and mobile apps
1. SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research) keeps track of air quality in different microenvironments across cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai. It measures pollutants like PM1, PM2.5, PM10, Ozone, CO, among others. The SAFAR website posts information about the air quality levels for the current day and also forecasts for the next three days. SAFAR app is  available for download on Google Play for Android devices.

2. AQICN website offers real-time indexing of air quality levels across the world. The search can be refined to specific locations in a city. The app is available for download on iOs, Android, and Windows phone.

3. Plumes Air Report app is available for Android and iOS users. It provides real-time information on pollution levels in a city and the forecasts the levels over the next few hours. It also helps identify the best time to go outside without getting overexposed to pollution.

4. Air Quality India available is also for download for Android and iOS users. It provides real-time Air quality data from all cities across India. The application also lets you compare air pollution data between two cities.

delhi pollution, delhi pollution news, smog, smog in delhi, delhi pollution index, delhi pollution data, delhi pollution health, air pollution, air pollution in india, india news, indian express, AQICN website offers real time indexing of air quality levels all across the world.

5. The Blueair Air Quality app provides hourly updates about street-level air pollution in key cities around India. The app rates urban air quality on a scale from zero (good) to 500 (hazardous) – and is updated regularly throughout the day.

Air Quality Monitors

Air Quality monitors reveal the quality of air in the immediate surrounding of the user, and can be used to check the air quality of rooms, public areas, cars, etc. Here are some of the air quality monitors you can chose from:

1. Crusaders PM 2.5 Air Quality Monitor
Crusaders air quality meter is fitted with a PM2.5 Laser Meter, that can give real-time readings on PM2.5 particles in the air. It comes with an auto standby option. The AQM comes with an in-built Li-ion rechargeable battery available at Rs 5, 999.

2. Laser Egg Air Quality Monitor
The Laser Egg Air Quality Monitor displays the PM 2.5 concentration in the air. Prices start from Rs 8,450. The user can also switch between constant and timed monitoring on the device. The monitor also has a Wi-Fi chip enabling internet connection, all the data recorded while connected to the internet gets stored on a cloud database.

3. Airveda Air Quality Monitor

The Airveda air quality monitor measure PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels in the surroundings every few seconds. The monitor can be charged using any USB power outlet. The starting price of Airveda is Rs 8,950.


Recommended levels of PM 2.5, PM 10 according to WHO

According to WHO 2005 guidelines, the annual mean value of PM 2.5 is 10 μg per metre cube and hourly mean value of PM 2.5 is 25 μg per metre cube. For PM 10, the annual mean value is 20 μg per metre cube and the hourly mean value is 50 μg per metre cube. The air quality measures the annual/daily mean concentration of these particles per cubic metre of air volume.

Particulate matter adversely affects human health more than any other known pollutant. PM consists of sulphate, ammonia, nitrates, black carbon, mineral dust, water, sodium chloride.

PM 10, that is particles with a diametre of 10 microns or less are the most harmful which can can seep into the lungs and lodge deep inside, long term exposure to it develops risk of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

PM 2.5, that is particles with a diametre of 2.5 microns or less. Exposure to PM 2.5 particles leads to short term effects such as irritation in the eye, throat, nose, lung, shortness of breath, sneezing etc. Prolonged exposure increases the risk of respiratory diseases.



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  1. D
    Nov 6, 2016 at 10:04 am
    Tinpot socialist Kejri has no vision for Delhi. His unimplementable and irrational solutions can't solve a serious issue like air polltion in Delhi. He has to sit with CMs of Punjab,Haryana and invest in projects related to composting,biogas etc. He is such a man who can blame but not cooperate. AAP govt is indiscriminately giving licences of autos in Delhi. It has to be checked but he won't as autowalas are his core votebank. Autos pollute a lot. You need a man who can take hard decisions but populist Kejri can not do that. He is not focusing on vacuum cleaning because if it is done,people will praise MCD. He is more concwrned about votes and not people's health. As long as Kejri is there,it seems difficult to solve this problem. It's wrong to blame him for pollution but his dirty politcs is definitely our health. We are living in a dangerous environment.
    1. nitin dutt
      Nov 7, 2017 at 4:41 pm
      Yes, the CM's of Haryana and Punjab hve already communicated to you as how they are waiting for AK. The problem belongs to their state, they are the ones who are not doing anything. Not even complying with EPCA norms and SC order and yet the person who is wrong is AK. Road cleaning is with MCD, how can Delhi Govt has it but for you this is fine.
    2. S
      Nov 7, 2016 at 4:53 am
      India must go much faster for the energy avoiding coal, even if it has to be nuclear, because coal consumption causes havoc in air pollution which creates much worse and complicated problems. Towards unconventional generations of enegy India must offer much greater subsidies and diesle generators must be banned all together every where and even Diesel rtucks and buses must atonce be converted to CNG whatever the financial cost. India must set an example worldover and even UNI, IMF must come forward towards this end. India and world advanced countries must also enforce research and development in zero transmission loss through super conductors to carry energy from Sahara, Africa which can meet demands for entire World. Work is already been done, but it must be reinforced many times. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Suraj Parkashlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The ever increasing by each year problem of atmosphere pollution on the night of Dewali from crackers must be checked immediately through total and complete ban on fire works, crackers, and bombs, etc through total ban on manufacture in India and imports of such materials from China, will solve both problems of airpollution and foreign exchange wastages. Besides, burning of agro waste be also resolved through industrial use and conversion of the waste into paper, card board, or any such materials, and compulsorily enforced its to some Govt agency which must collect and take away this material for some industrial conversion, instead of being burnt causing huge air pollution. The requirements must be enforced stringely and through out India with stringent punishment against each floutings.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Suraj Parkash
      1. H
        Himanshu Chaudhary
        Nov 6, 2016 at 1:51 pm
        Well said.
        1. Manohar Sharma
          Nov 6, 2016 at 2:37 pm
          I have a formula to control 50% of pollution and smog in Delhi. Kanjriwal has just to keep his mouth shut for a week only.
          1. nitin dutt
            Nov 7, 2017 at 4:38 pm
            You were born .
          2. N
            Nov 6, 2016 at 2:29 pm
            Look out for him in the ISIS and stop wasting India's time.
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