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300 Teams in the Field in Delhi to Fight Air Pollution

The Chief Secretaries of these states have been asked to monitor the situation in various districts on a 24x7 basis

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Delhi, Polluted, Air
According to airvisual.com, Delhi topped the AQI rankings while Lahore with AQI 356 is the second in the ranking followed by Dhaka (182), Krakow (165), Ulaanbaatar (162), Wroclaw (158), Guangzhou (157), Wuhan (153), Chongqing (152) and Kathmandu (151). Pixabay

The Central government is keeping a close watch on the situation arising out of elevated air pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.

Officials pointed out that about 300 teams are in the field in Delhi to reduce air pollution. The necessary machinery for this work has been distributed in the states.

The main focus of the Central government is on the seven industrial clusters and major traffic corridors in Delhi-NCR region.

The Centre is keeping a close watch on polluting units and burning of waste besides the construction activities.

Alarm bells are ringing as the Air Quality Index (AQI) crossed an all time high of 1,000 in some parts of Delhi-NCR causing concern and anxiety among the people.

Health, Emergency, Delhi
The overall air quality index (AQI) rose to 459 on Friday morning. According to a CPCB official, the AQI reached “severe plus” or “emergency” category on late Thursday night, which is the first time since January this year. Pixabay

A public health emergency has already been enforced in the region. All schools have been shut in Delhi and Noida till Tuesday.

Delhi AQI which is now making international headlines is being monitored at the highest level. Earlier today, Principal Secretary to PM, P.K. Mishra, reviewed at a high-level meeting, the situation arising out of severe air pollution in the National Capital Region, and other parts of North India.

Senior officials from the States of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, joined the meeting through video conferencing.

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It was decided that the Cabinet Secretary will monitor the situation with these states on a daily basis.

The Chief Secretaries of these states have been asked to monitor the situation in various districts on a 24×7 basis. (IANS)

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Air Pollution Associated with More Severe Rhinitis Symptoms: Researchers

Airborne particulate matter and NO2 are both traffic-related pollutants

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Pollution- climate crisis
Climate crisis has increased due to air pollution and people are facing lung and heart-related problems. VOA

Researchers have found that the nasal symptoms of rhinitis are more severe in people exposed to higher levels of outdoor air pollution.

Rhinitis, a condition that affects between 20 per cent and 50 per cent of the world’s population, is a disorder of the nasal mucosa characterised by congestion, sneezing, rhinorrhoea, nasal irritation and, in some cases, a reduced sense of smell.

“Rhinitis is associated with asthma, which is closely linked to air pollution. That is why we thought it would be interesting to investigate whether long-term exposure to air pollution also plays a determining role in rhinitis,” said study researcher Benedicte Jacquemi from Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain.

For the findings, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers analysed data from 1,408 patients with rhinitis from 17 different European cities, including Barcelona and Oviedo (Spain), Paris (France), Antwerp (Belgium), Umea (Sweden) and Erfurt (Germany).

The participants answered a questionnaire regarding the severity of each one of their rhinitis symptoms and the extent to which the condition interferes with their day-to-day lives.

According to the researchers, airborne particles, the diameter of which can vary from micrometres to millimetres, are solid or liquid bodies present in the air. Particles with a diameter under 2.5 (PM2.5) and under ten micrometres (PM10) are of particular interest in this context.

Delhi Toxic Air
An elderly Indian woman seeks alms as youth wearing pollution masks walk through a shopping area in New Delhi, India. VOA

As the study shows, people living in cities with higher levels of PM10 and PM2.5 report the most severe rhinitis symptoms. An increase of 5 �g/m3 in PM2.5 was associated with a 17 per cent higher probability of severe rhinitis.

These particles were associated with increased severity of congestion, nasal irritation and sneezing, whereas exposure to NO2 increased the severity of nasal discharge and congestion, the study said.

Airborne particulate matter and NO2 are both traffic-related pollutants.

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“The role of these pollutants in the severity of symptoms is probably linked to oxidative stress, apoptosis (a process by which irreparably damaged cells are eliminated) and inflammation,” said study lead author Emilie Burte.

“Our findings suggest that the effect of airborne particulate matter differs from that of gaseous emissions (NO2), probably because their respective mechanisms of action provoke different inflammatory responses in the respiratory tract; however, more studies are needed to validate this hypothesis,” Burt added. (IANS)