Delhi Threatened by Ozone Pollution

Jun 12th, 2014 | By | Category: Environment, India, Pollution

delhi-pollutionAfter experiencing the soaring temperature this summer, bad news follows Delhites once again. According to a recent study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the ground-level ozone, a highly reactive and harmful gas, has far been exceeded the permissible limit.

The report, released on Monday, said that the ozone layer has increased due to the heat waves Delhi is experiencing in June. The harmful ozone gas is very dangerous for people suffering from asthma and respiratory problems as it may cause premature death.

“With heat wave raging in early June, ozone peaks to dangerous levels. Rising NOx levels and volatile gases in the air, primarily from vehicles, form the recipe for ozone when exposed to intense sunlight and high temperature. Ozone is a serious threat to those suffering from asthma and respiratory problems and can cause premature deaths if it is high even for a short duration during the day,” said executive director, research and advocacy and head of CSE’s air pollution programme, Anumita Roy Chowdhury.

The study claims that within a week Ozone levels have gone up by 315% at Delhi’s Mandir Marg and 82% at Indira Gandhi International airport. In addition, 87% have gone up in Civil Lines and 171% in Punjabi Bagh, in just a week. At all locations the average ozone level was 73 micrograms per cubic meter on June 1, which hastily doubled further than the standards by June 5.

Research carried out by real-time air quality data from key monitoring stations of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) from January to early June reveals that ozone level has rapidly been built and has gone beyond the permissible limits.

According to Dr Randeeep Guleria, head of the department of pulmonary medicine at All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), “A person with chronic respiratory problems and bronchitis is prone to more attacks when he or she is exposed to high level of pollution. The person will have breathing difficulties and cough when exposed to the heat. One should avoid places with high levels of pollution like crossings and terminals.”

“It is advisable for them to stay indoors and drink lot of fluids and electrolytes and wear loose clothes. People suffering from chronic respiratory problems should increase their medication and a consult doctor. Elderly people should be very careful and always carry an umbrella when stepping out,” he advised.

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