Pollution at ‘unhealthy levels’ in Delhi, says CSE (Lead)

December 13th, 2010 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) Pollution is rising to “unhealthy levels” in the Indian capital, and this can cause several health problems, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said Monday.The levels of both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide were up. The official air quality index of the Central Pollution Control Board revealed that many places in Delhi were in the grip of multi-pollutants.

The review of the first 10 days of December showed that both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide had reached “unhealthy levels”, a CSE report said.

Even carbon monoxide showed unhealthy levels at some key centres including Connaught Place and Karol Bagh, it said.

“Small particles aggravate respiratory and cardiac symptoms in the short term and trigger lung cancer in the long term. Nitrogen dioxide can cause serious respiratory problems and sudden death syndrome among infants,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, associate director of CSE.

The monitoring by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee in different localities revealed that pollution levels peaked significantly during peak traffic hours.

“It is scary that the ozone levels have continued to exceed standards during the colder months,” she said. “Cocktail of pollution can be deadly in Delhi already gasping for breath.”

The number of reported acute respiratory infection cases has increased by 28 percent between 2005 and 2008 in Delhi, the report says.

“It is challenging to check pollution in a city that already has 5.6 million registered vehicles and adds more than 1,100 new personal vehicles a day,” she added.

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