Air quality in Delhi beyond severe level for third consecutive day

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According to AQICN, on Friday morning, PM10 (particles with the diameter less than 10mm) level was over 700 in most of the areas in Delhi-NCR areas, leading to hazy conditions and limiting visibility.

The WHO standard for permissible levels of PM 2.5 in the air (24-hour average) is 25 μg/m3, while India's National Ambient Air Quality standard is 2.4 times higher at 60 μg/m3.

Chairing an emergency meeting in view of severe dust pollution in Delhi, Baijal also ordered the municipal corporations and the Public Works Department (PWD) to intensify mechanical road sweeping, sprinkling of non-potable water at central verges and roadsides and stop brooming activity on main roads.

The Union Environment Ministry says that the situation is likely to remain in Delhi for the next three days. According to the CPCB data, the PM-10 in Delhi-NCR area is higher than 'very serious condition' at 778 and in Delhi, it has recorded 824. Studies in Delhi by several agencies have looked for a wide variety of elements and toxic compounds in dust that show the impact of industrial activities like metal processing or vehicular pollution.

Anti-cyclonic winds from Rajasthan were said to be the reason behind Delhi's air quality decline.

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There was a dip in the air quality level on Tuesday due to dust storms in western India, particularly Rajasthan, which increased coarser particles in the air, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said.

High air pollution levels can cause respiratory problems even in healthy people and seriously affect people with lung/heart disease.

"There could be discomfort or breathing difficulties due to the pollution", Sudhakar said. An AQI between 0-50 is considered Good, 51-100 Satisfactory, 101-200 Moderate, 201-300 Poor, 301-400 Very Poor, and 401-500 Severe.

The meeting was attended by Minister Imran Hussain, Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, Environment Pollution Control Authority chairman Bhure Lal, senior government officers and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) director general and EPCA member Sunita Narain. The dust-laden winds have created a haze in Delhi-NCR since Wednesday.

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