Delhi's air is no better than Beijing's
Beijing made headlines this last weekend when air pollution soared past the standard levels, and hit the point which is considered hazardous by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The official People's Daily said the smog was a "suffocating siege" which had to be urgently addressed, and people were seen walking around the streets wearing masks, and were advised to stay indoors.The city’s fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air reportedly rose to an out-of-index level of 755 mg/cu m, whereas according to WHO the safe level of PM2.5 is 20 mg/ cu m.
Delhi on the other hand have reason to be alarmed as it was found that despite a clear windy day, the PM2.5 levels ranged from 130 to 565 mg/cu m here. 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 for this pollutant that can cause respiratory illnesses and worsen heart ailments, which is at 60 mg/cu m.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jan 16, 2013
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