Thought Beijing air was bad? Delhi’s no better
New Delhi: Beijing’s air pollution made international news over the weekend when fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the city air rose to an ‘out-of-index’ level of 755 mg/cu m. Pictures showed Beijing residents wearing masks amid advisories that they should stay indoors. Meanwhile, it was business as usual in Delhi on Monday when despite a clear windy day, the PM2.5 levels ranged from 130 to 565 mg/cu m.
According to the World Health Organization, the safe level of PM2.5 is 20 mg/
cu m. The Indian standard for this pollutant — that can cause respiratory illnesses and worsen heart ailments — is 60 mg/cu m.
On Monday, the highest value of 565 mg/cu m — considered very hazardous — was recorded at R K Puram for about two hours. But even the lowest reading at this site was 191 mg/cu m, more than three times the Indian standard.
Source: (TOI, 15 jan, pg. 1)