The city’s air quality finally turned a shade better on Wednesday after a prolonged spell of smog marked by “severe” level of pollutants that lingered on for nearly a week. Pollution experts attributed the improvement, to wind speed gaining momentum and blowing from the west region instead of the north west region, which is the hotspot of stubble burning.
Centre’s System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) recorded the average (24-hour rolling) of respirable pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 as 246 and 405 micrograms per cubic metre respectively, both in the “very poor” category. The 24-hour prescribed average of these ultrafine particulate matters are 60 and 100 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.
“The conditions are going to be favourable for dispersion of pollutants for the next few days. Air quality will further improve tomorrow,” a Ministry of Earth Sciences scientist said. According to experts, the main factors that influence Delhi’s air quality are wind speed and wind direction, and if the two remain favourable, chances of pollution peaking to extreme levels, as seen last week, are “rare”.
Central Pollution Control Board, however, recorded Delhi’s air quality index (day’s average) in the severe category. Prolonged exposure to severe category air may affect healthy people and seriously impact those with existing diseases while very poor may cause respiratory illness.