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Air pollution dips this Diwali,overall worsens

Increased awareness and favourable meteorological factors have led to a decrease in overall air pollution this Diwali compared to last year’s figures

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: October 28, 2011 4:23:22 am

CPCB figures indicate lesser pollution,govt claims it is due to anti-cracker campaign

Increased awareness and favourable meteorological factors have led to a decrease in overall air pollution this Diwali compared to last year’s figures,the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has said.

Sustained anti-fire-cracker campaign initiated in Delhi has led to this decrease in the level of air pollution,Environment Secretary Keshav Chandra said on Thursday.

Pollution levels on Diwali continue to remain high compared to normal conditions in the Capital,especially the level of extremely harmful particulate matter which can cause lung diseases including cancer.

The CPCB released two sets of figures this year,one based on data collected manually from seven locations and another based on a recently established network of 11 locations where air quality is monitored continuously to generate data.

According to figures,while the level of Nitrogen Dioxide and PM10 (Particulate matter with a diameter below 10 microns) detected in various location in Delhi on Diwali have remained constant or have shown a decrease in all seven locations where manual sampling of air quality was done,the level of SO2 has increased in four out of these seven locations.

Data gathered through continuous monitoring of air quality at 11 locations shows the following :

East Arjun Nagar recorded the highest level of Sulphur dioxide on Diwali day while Mandir Marg and Civil Lines topped the list for Nitrogen Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide respectively.

The level of PM10 in the air on Diwali and normal days however remains at dangerously high levels. While the ambient air quality standard for PM10 is 100 micro gram per cubic metre,the levels detected on Diwali this year range from a minimum of 416 (In ITO) to a maximum of 635 (In Sirifort Residential area) according to date gathered manually by the CPCB from seven locations.

The pre-Diwali figures of PM 10 for 2011 also remain high,and range from 184 microgram per cubic metre to 486 microgram per cubic metre.

Particulate matter of very low diameter,such a PM10 and PM 2.5 are extremely hazardous even close to ambient levels as they get lodged deep inside lung tissue and remain there for a long time,said Anumita Roy Choudhary of the Centre for Science and Environment.

While pollution on Diwali has shown a dip,the CPCB data on normal air pollution levels is cause for worry as the general pollution level appeared to have worsened.

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