Levels of PM 10 and PM 2.5 suspended in the air reached 15-20 times above their exposure limit at 17 out of 26 air quality monitoring stations of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) Tuesday morning, as humidity and low night time temperature caused “multiplication” of pollutants. The remaining stations had incomplete records or were not functional. The acceptable limit is 60 and 100 µg/m3.
At North Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, PM 2.5 levels peaked at 1,422 µg/m3 at 11am, 23 times above the acceptable limit, while at East Delhi’s Anand Vihar, it was 1,325 µg/m3 at 10 am, as per DPCC data. PM 10 level at North Delhi’s Narela reached 1,833 µg/m3 at 7am, 18 times above the acceptable limit, while at East Delhi’s Patparganj, it was 1,554 µg/m3 at 11 am.
The Ministry of Earth Sciences’ air quality monitor SAFAR said in a bulletin there was a rapid formation of secondary fine particulate matter in Delhi Tuesday due to high levels of moisture in the air and low temperatures. “Secondary fine particulate formation is a scientific process when gas-to-particle conversion happens, and in-situ chemical production takes place on available surfaces and multiply PM2.5,” the SAFAR bulletin said.
Kuldeep Srivastava, head of IMD’s regional weather forecasting centre, said night temperature in the city over the past few days has remained between 10-12 degrees celsius and there is high level of humidity in the air: “With wind direction over Delhi changing to easterly now, moisture level in the air will increase further.”
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