New Delhi: The levels of particulate matter (PM) is higher than the international norms in a majority of 244 cities and industrial areas in the country where the ambient air quality is monitored, the government informed Lok Sabha Tuesday.
"The levels of particulate matter are exceeding the norms in a majority of cities and towns with fluctuating trend," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said in a written reply.
However, the levels of lead and sulphur dioxide (annual average) are within the norms as per National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) across the country following the implementation of measures for curbing air pollution, he said.
Javadekar said WHO had published Air Quality Guideline for Europe in 1987 for the first time and second time in 2000. A global update was brought out in 2005 by WHO and these were taken into account by the government while revisiting and notifying the NAAQS in November 2009 in the gazette.