Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: An examination of daily pollution figures collected from New Delhi suggests that the air in the national capital is laden with dangerous small particles of pollution, leapfrogging Beijing – the city that has a widespread reputation of having some of the most polluted air of any major city in the world.
In mid-January, Beijing`s US Embassy sent out warnings when a measure of harmful fine particulate matter known as PM2.5 rocketed above 500, in the upper reaches of the measurement scale, for the first time this year. This refers to particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter believed to pose the greatest health risk as it penetrates deeply into lungs.
However, for the first three weeks of this year, New Delhi`s average daily peak of fine particulate matter from Punjabi Bagh, a monitor whose readings are often lower than those of other cities and independent monitors, was 473, which was twice more than the average of 227 in Beijing, the Verge reported.
By the time pollution moved breached the mark of 500 in Beijing for the first time on the night of January 15, Delhi had eight such days. Instead, only once in three weeks did New Delhi`s daily peak value of fine particles fall below 300, a level more than 12 times the exposure limit recommended by the World Health Organization.
With Agency Inputs