Air Quality Index
- The overall air quality in Delhi continued to remain in the ‘critical’ category on Monday morning, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR)-India.
- Pollution levels in Delhi have remained in the ‘critical’ category for the past few days recording AQI in the ‘400’ range at several locations in and around Delhi.
- According to data Data from the Central Pollution Control Board showed Delhi’s air quality index increased by over 200 points since October 27.
- AQI is envisioned as the ‘One Number- One Colour-One Description’ for the common man to judge the air quality within his vicinity.
- The formulation of the index was a continuation of the initiatives under Swachh Bharat Mission envisioned by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri NarendraModi.
- While the earlier measuring index was limited to three indicators, the current measurement index had been made quite comprehensive by the addition of five additional parameters.
- Under the current measurement of air quality, 8 parameters. The initiatives undertaken by the Ministry recently aimed at balancing environment and conservation and development.
- Air pollution has been a matter of environmental and health concerns, particularly in urban areas.
- Central Pollution Control Board along with State Pollution Control Boards has been operating National Air Monitoring Program (NAMP) covering 240 cities of the country.
- In addition, continuous monitoring systems that provide data on near real-time basis are also installed in a few cities.
- There are six AQI categories, namely Good, Satisfactory, Moderately polluted, Poor, Very Poor, and Severe.
- The AQI will consider eight pollutants (PM10, PM5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) for which short-term (up to 24-hourly averaging period) National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed.
- Based on the measured ambient concentrations, corresponding standards and likely health impact, a sub-index is calculated for each of these pollutants.
- The worst sub-index reflects overall AQI.
- Associated likely health impacts for different AQI categories and pollutants have been also been suggested, with primary inputs from the medical expert members of the group.
- The AQI values and corresponding ambient concentrations (health breakpoints) as well as associated likely health impacts for the identified eight pollutants are as follows:
|AQI Category, Pollutants and Health Breakpoints|
|AQI Category (Range)||PM10
|Satisfactory (51-100)||51-100||31-60||41-80||51-100||1.1-2.0||41-80||201-400||0.5 –1.0|
|AQI||Associated Health Impacts|
|May cause minor breathing discomfort to sensitive people.|
|May cause breathing discomfort to people with lung disease such as asthma, and discomfort to people with heart disease, children and older adults.|
|May cause breathing discomfort to people on prolonged exposure, and discomfort to people with heart disease|
|May cause respiratory illness to the people on prolonged exposure. Effect may be more pronounced in people with lung and heart diseases.|
|May cause respiratory impact even on healthy people, and serious health impacts on people with lung/heart disease. The health impacts may be experienced even during light physical activity.|