Less polluting Diwali this yearOctober 27th, 2011 - 10:54 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) Pollution levels this Diwali were lower than last year, thanks to people’s participation in the anti-firecracker campaign, Delhi Environment Secretary Keshav Chandra said Thursday.
“In general, the concentration of the pollutants has shown a decrease this year as compared to last year. This may be attributed to concerted and sustained anti-firecrackers campaign and active participation of citizens of Delhi in favour of the campaign,” Chandra said at a press conference.
“Air quality has improved with active cooperation of citizens, especially of children who made extra efforts to contain use of firecrackers during Diwali on the appeal of the chief minister (Sheila Dikshit),” he added.
“This year Delhi has felt far less quantum of pollutants in air ambiance during Diwali as compared to last year’s Diwali,” Chandra said.
“There has been far less concentration of the pollutants as measured and monitored scientifically in respect of four parameters - gaseous parameters: SO2, NO2, carbon monoxide and particulates,” he said.
According to the data collected by Delhi Pollution Control Board from 6 p.m. on Oct 26 to 6 a.m. on Oct 27, the presence of gases like carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and and suspended particles was lower compared to 2010.
The level of carbon monoxide went up to 2.05 mg per cubic metre while in 2010 it had gone up to 9.75 mg per cubic metre. It enters the bloodstream and reduces oxygen delivery to the body’s organs and tissues.
Oxides of nitrogen varied between 59.64 µg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre) to 133.4 µg/m3. Last year, the nitrogen oxides were between 65 to 95 µg/m3. Nitrogen oxide causes smog, and can also irritate the lungs and lower resistance to respiratory infections such as influenza.
Sulphur dioxide (SO2) was 34.58 µg/m3 to 42.9 µg/m3 this year, compared to 26.0 µg/m3 to 73.5 µg/m3 last year. It is a pollutant that causes most health hazards, including affecting breathing, respiratory illness.
Larger suspended particles known as PM-10, particles of size 10 micrometres or less, were between 336.6 µg/m3 to 597.3 µg/m3 compared to 496 µg/m3 to 663 µg/m3 last year. The emission of smaller particle PM 2.5, which is of 2.5 microns or less, was between 104.6 µg/m3 to 421.4 µg/m3.
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