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Delhi AQI Improves, Down to ‘Very Poor’ After Almost a Week: Report

Over vthe past few days, a rapid secondary particle built-up along with the lowest mixing layer depth due to high cloud coverer blocking solar radiation had prevented dispersion in spite of not so calm surface winds

AQI in Delhi and elsewhere is forecast to improve to the higher-end very poor category, and a slight increase in wind speed by Wednesday is expected to help improve AQI marginally to middle-end of the very poor category. (Representational image). Pixabay

The toxic smog hovering over Delhi lifted on Tuesday morning with bright sunshine and wind speeds aiding dispersion of pollutants, and pollution levels coming down considerably from “severe” to “very poor” category after almost a week.

This will bring a huge relief to the population grappling with toxic air and also a brief respite to policymakers struggling with ways to control this emergency air pollution.

According to Safar India, the overall air quality index in Delhi has hit 381, much below the 600 plus levels in the last few days.

Even the main pollutants level has dropped. PM 10 is at 307 in the poor category and PM 2.5 at 221 in the very poor category.

According to a Safar India forecast, significant improvement in hourly value started on Monday morning as sun rays penetrated, however, the 24 hour running average will come down only slowly.

Delhi, Pollution, AQI
A bird flies past as New Delhi’s skyline is seen enveloped in smog and dust, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 1, 2019. VOA

The AQI reduced magnitude will only be realized by Tuesday to the upper end of “very poor”.

High surface and boundary layer wind are expected for Wednesday as well which will also improve air quality.

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A fresh Western Disturbance is approaching north India and scattered rainfall and change in wind direction is expected by November 8 in Delhi region likely to positively influence the Air Quality India.

Over vthe past few days, a rapid secondary particle built-up along with the lowest mixing layer depth due to high cloud coverer blocking solar radiation had prevented dispersion in spite of not so calm surface winds. (IANS)

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Air Pollution Associated with More Severe Rhinitis Symptoms: Researchers

Airborne particulate matter and NO2 are both traffic-related pollutants

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)