There was thick smog hanging over Delhi on Monday morning and pollution levels increased with an alarming rate after the Diwali celebrations.

People woke up to a visibility of only 200 metre in the morning and many office commuters reported difficulty in driving on Delhi roads. According to a NASA report, the Northern parts of the country were hazy with smoke in an 8am picture taken by their satellite.

Central Pollution Monitoring Agency showed in a report that concentrations of Particulate Matter-10 (coarser pollutants) was over 1,600 micro grams/ cubic metre at Anand Vihar at 2 am, while PM levels of 100 micro grams per cubic metre are considered safe.

Here are the PM 2.5 Levels of various areas in Delhi of Monday Morning:
1. Around 999 in the US Embassy Area.
2. 702 in Anand Vihar.
3. 643 in R.K Puram

image source:  https://aqicn.org/
image source: https://aqicn.org/

PM 2.5 levels are considered safe till 60 micro grams/ cubic metre. These particles are harmful and can cause respiratory diseases if a person is exposed for a long time.

Since particulate matters like Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) are inhaled, lungs and the human windpipe are the first organs to be affected. PM10 enters alveoli or small sacs in lungs and gets accumulated there and affects upper respiratory tract from the nose and windpipe. On the other hand, PM2.5 particles, which are smaller than the PM 10 particles, affect the lower respiratory system since they enter the lungs.

The air pollution in this Diwali season is way more than what was recorded in 2014 and 2015. The main reason behind this humongous plunge in air pollutants is due to low wind speed and moisture in the air.

Pollution Monitoring Agency said that people should avoid all physical activities and people with heart or lung diseases, children, and old people should remain indoors because of the severe air quality.

31 October 2016
Rohan Jaitly

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