Delhi’s Air Quality Keeps Slipping; Now In ‘Severe’ Category
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – A thick layer of pollutants covered Delhi and the adjoining cities on November 3 as pollution levels slipped to the ‘severe’ category. Experts have warned that prolonged exposure to this toxic air could lead to serious and multiple health problems.
The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city stood at 418, according to data from the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research.
However, by the evening, it further deteriorated and surged to 458.
The PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentrations stood at 458 and 433, respectively, both under the same ‘Severe’ category. The AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’; from 51 to 100 ‘satisfactory’; 101- 200 ‘moderate’; 201-300 ‘poor’; 301-400 ‘very poor’; and 401-500 ‘severe’.
Commenting on the deteriorating air quality, Dr Harshal Salve, Additional Professor, Centre for Community Medicine at Delhi AIIMS, said that prolonged exposure to such toxic air could lead to serious multiple problems apart from respiratory issues.
“Those persons suffering from COPD and other respiratory diseases must use the N95 mask while going outside,” said Dr. Salve. Emphasizing that outdoor activities should immediately be stopped, he said that everyone should avoid going outside from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. in the morning as the concentration level of pollutants remain at its peak during that period. “Even the indoor activities must keep at low levels for those suffering with sensitive issues,” Dr Salve said.
There have been studies that shows that exposure to environmental pollutants can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes. It increases the risks of spontaneous abortions, and pre-term labor and when exposed in the third trimester, might increase the risk of Still Birth. Exposure to PM 2.5 and PM 10 as well as Carbon Monoxide and Cooking Smoke are the major implicants of pregnancy loss due to air pollution.