The air quality in industrial towns of Himachal Pradesh has deteriorated this month with the air quality index (AQI) shooting above the satisfactory limit of 100 at some places, according to the HP State Pollution Control Board.
Nalagarh, Baddi, Kala Amb and Paonta Sahib are currently experiencing the worst air quality in the state, with an AQI of above 90 at all these towns. They are also experiencing a higher average AQI this month as compared to previous months of the year.
Baddi, the industrial hub of the state, is the worst hit, with an AQI of 115 recorded on Monday. The town witnessed only two days of satisfactory AQI level (51-100) this month, while on all the remaining days, the AQI was moderate (100-200), which means the air can cause breathing discomfort to people with lung and heart diseases, and among the children and the elderly.
The highest single-day AQI of 191 this month was recorded at Kala Amb in Sirmaur on October 23, although the town’s air was ‘satisfactory’ on a majority of days this month. That day, however, the town recorded a PM 10 level of nearly 150 microgram per cubic metre, much above the safe limit of 100 µg/m3 set by the Central Pollution Control Board.
The PM 2.5 level, at 87µg/m3, was also above the safe limit of 60. PM 10 and PM 2.5 are particulate matter with diameters of 10 micrometres or less and 2.5 micrometres or less respectively. Particles in this size make up a large proportion of dust that can be drawn deep into the lungs.
Nalagarh and Paonta Sahib, too, have witnessed several days of unsatisfactory air this month. AQI is currently monitored at 11 places in the state. In the remaining stations, the AQI is currently satisfactory, with Dharamshala and Manali recording a ‘good’ AQI on Monday.
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