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Public cooperation is a must to reduce air pollution and its harmful effects
Dr KK Aggarwal
The air quality in Delhi became ‘severe’ post-Diwali with AQI levels crossing the 400 mark. The overall AQI at 11.30 am yesterday was 463, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). PM 10 levels in severe AQI category exceed 430 and PM2.5 levels are higher than 250. Yesterday, the PM10 level was 439 and PM2.5 level was 271.
The AQI continued to be in the severe to very poor category even at 4 pm yesterday in most parts of Delhi; IGI Airport (T3), the AQI was 421; Anand Vihar, the AQI was 390; ITO 373; JLN Stadium 360; RK Puram 363; Wazirpur 384.
This is despite the order of the Supreme Court, which had allowed only green firecrackers with 30% less emissions to be manufactured and sold. The Delhi government had organized a mega laser show to discourage people from using firecrackers.
The eco-friendly green crackers such as sound emitting crackers, flowerpots, pencils, chakkar and sparklers had been launched by the government earlier this month. These had been manufactured based on new formulations developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Delhi experiences high air pollution levels for almost the whole year; but the air quality typically worsens in winter and the problem particularly re-surfaces around Diwali every year.
Last year, the post-Diwali AQI in Delhi was higher than 600; in 2017 it was 367 and in 2016, it was 425 (Times of India)
The harmful effects of air pollution are well-recognized. Short-term particulate exposure is associated with acute coronary events (heart attack) in patients with underlying coronary artery disease. PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 are risk factors of all-cause, cardiovascular, stroke, respiratory, and COPD mortality. Children and older adults, including those with existing health problems such as asthma or heart ailments, are at high risk.
Public cooperation is a must to reduce air pollution and its harmful effects. It’s not just the government, as responsible citizens, we too share the responsibility to control pollution and we must respect laws of the state in place and abide by them.
Sutra: “If AQI> 100, no competitive sports, AQI >200: avoid exercise; AQI >300: avoid walking”
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA