Tag Archives: air pollution

Delhi Smog 2017 – What we need to know?

It is very much in news, and yet people out there, seem to be ignorant about it.

What is it? Illegal crop burning in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana, vehicle exhaust emissions in a city with limited public transport, and swirling construction dust have caused the crisis, which arises every year. (NDTV, November 9, 2017)

Delhi pollution level

Air quality index (AQI) at 7.30 am, November 9, was recorded at 468 (Severe category)

These steps have been taken so far:

Source: Economic Times, Nov 9, 2017

  1. The Delhi government has brought back odd-even plan to check rising pollution level in the capital. It will be implemented from Nov 13 and will end on Nov 17, and like last time two-wheelers and women drivers will be exempt.
  2. National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned construction and industrial activities in Delhi-NCR till November 14 , 2017.
  3. NGT has also directed directs civic bodies to constitute teams to ensure there is no burning of waste in Delhi-NCR. The green panel has also asked authorities to implement EPCA’s directions to improve ambient air quality.
  4. It has also directed sprinkling of water where PM 10 is found to be in excess of 600 micrograms per cubic metre.
  5. Schools in Delhi and Punjab remain shut till Sunday.

Source: Hindustan Times, Nov 9, 2017

  1. Environment ministry forms seven-member committee to monitor short-term and long-term solutions to air pollution, reports PTI (5:48 PM today)
  2. The odd even scheme will be implemented from 8 am to 8 pm.
  3. Banning trucks and closing schools have been taken in response to the worsening Delhi air quality.

Source: The Hindu, Nov 9, 2017

  1. Hike in parking fee by four times has been done to discourage own vehicle use.
  2. Issuing a slew of directions as immediate measures to control pollution in Delhi-NCR, the Delhi High court banned felling of trees, ordered sprinkling of water on roads to control dust and strict enforcement of construction code to ensure that the air is not polluted further.

Source :NDTV, November 9, 2017

  1.  A Delhi government advisory has urged anyone with breathing difficulties to remain indoors and said everyone should avoid strenuous activity.
  2. PM 2.5 is particulate matter about 30 times finer than a human hair. The particles
    delhi-smog1

    Delhi Smog 2017 (Source: Indian Express, November 9, 2017)

    can be inhaled deep into the lungs, causing heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and respiratory diseasesDelhi registered levels of over 600 today – 12 times over the safe limit.

Source : Indian Express, November 9, 2017

  1. The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) has sent notices to the Centre and the governments of Delhi, Punjab and Haryana in view of “life-threatening” pollution levels in the national capital and nearby regions. The rights panel criticised authorities for not taking proper steps to tackle the “hazard”, amounting to violation of right to life and health.

How to protect oneself from the harmful effects of smog?

Source: Economic Times, November 9, 2017

Indian Medical Association declared a ‘public health emergency’ in Delhi on November 7, 2017.

  •  Avoid cardio workout
  • Get the right mask – Get a respirator that is rated N95/N99/FFP3 or is ‘NIOSH Approved’ that filters out more than 95% of particles (larger than 0.3 microns)
  • Stay hydrated
  • Don’t ignore sustained symptoms – Keep the allergy kit ready with required medicines, inhalers and nebulisers if you have a family member with respiratory illness.
  • Invest in an air purifier
  • Plant some natural air purifiers in your surroundings, like Aloe Vera and Spider Plant which suck up all the pollutants
  • Consult doctor if symptoms persist – Exposure to bad air quality may lead to initial symptoms like coughing, irritation in eyes and nose, sore throat, asthma or wheezing, and tiredness. But prolonged exposure may have serious consequences on health causing stroke, ischemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even lung cancer. Asthmatic patients should carry their inhalers at all time.

Stay informed, stay protected.

This information has been taken from reliable sources. Therefore, it would be nice if you share it further.  Thanks for reading!

 

 

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Can We Do it – A Cleaner & Safer Diwali?

Some intuitive ways of celebrating a “Cleaner, safer and Fun Diwali” – Prayers, Sweets, meeting family members and friends, holidays and…

  • Minimizing use of fire-crackers, especially those which produce lots of smoke and noise
  • Resisting the need to over-buy – better for pockets of ourselves and Mother Nature
  • Resist over-lighting – after all, power is precious…

Can we do it? This is the question to all of us Indians. Diwali, the big festival of India, has in recent history, been associated with massive bursting of crackers, and massive pollution of air, soil and water as an aftermath. It is something which we have seen through our own eyes, in most of our lifetime.

diwali-pollution-2diwali-pollution-1

Courtesy: Pumirror.com, The Hindu

However, if we pretend we do not know about it, here are some news reports of Diwali last year.

On Diwali night, India gasped for breath – http://www.thehindu.com/data/pollution-on-diwali-night/article7872344.ece, November 13, 2015

The level of pollution reaches ‘severe’ in several cities of India where healthy people also start getting affected, leave alone people with pre-existing conditions.

Diwali: Delhi pollution ‘hits hazardous levels’ – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34795305, November 12, 2015

Pollution in Delhi during Diwali: The harmful pollutants and their result on human lives – http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/pollution-during-diwali/1/518634.html, November 7, 2015

Is that the only and best way to celebrate – by choking ourselves & our fellow people? That too, when the environmental balance is getting more and more fragile by the day? Can we have a “cleaner  & safer  Diwali”, this time?

diwali

High Air Pollution in Indian cities (based on NDTV Reports) – Solutions!

Can India afford to let air quality in all its cities degenerate to health and life-affecting levels? Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and others – all reported as hovering over ‘Hazardous levels’ of Air pollution by NDTV Pollution Report 

Severity:

A) According to TERI et al Report (The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), A) University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB)), transport sector contributes to upto 50% of Particulate Matter (PM) in the air, which is a major component of air pollution in Indian cities

– http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/air-pollution-set-to-rise-drastically-in-indian-cities-report-619537 –

B) The World Health Organization estimates that, of the 67 risk factors studied in its Global Burden of Disease project, outdoor air pollution was ranked 5th in mortality and 7th in health burden in India.

– Source: NDTV (November 11, 2014)  http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/air-pollution-set-to-rise-drastically-in-indian-cities-report-619537 –

C) Construction waste also contributes to the PM content in our rapidly growing cities

– http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/wide-gap-between-new-delhi-beijing-smog-policies-479948

Solutions:

A) TERI et al report says that drastic reduction (more than 90 per cent) of Particulate Matter (PM) and Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) from the transportation sector, primarily diesel vehicles and buses, will have the largest and most immediate beneficial impact on human health and food – Immediate government action required

B) Old vehicles to be banned from the roads – http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/vehicles-older-than-15-years-won-t-be-allowed-in-delhi-says-green-court-626453

C) Burning waste, particularly plastic, in the open, becomes a punishable offence

– http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/vehicles-older-than-15-years-won-t-be-allowed-in-delhi-says-green-court-626453

D)Compliance to stringent vehicular emission standards and higher fuel efficiency norms – Urgent need for Government to step in (R.K.Pachauri)

– http://auto.ndtv.com/news/better-fuel-stricter-norms-needed-to-curb-air-pollution-573680

E) Polluting industrial units be monitored for their air and waste emissions – action to be taken against erring units as the iron factories in Uttarakhand

– http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/national-green-tribunal-concerned-over-rampant-air-pollution-in-uttarakhand-561662

F) Spreading public awareness is another critical area – While Government needs to proactively impose stringent norms and adopt new greener technologies, people need to know the status of air pollution and impact it can have over their health and life; and also how they can not exacerbate the problem at individual level –

http://www.ndtv.com/article/cities/wide-gap-between-new-delhi-beijing-smog-policies-479948

Happy Sparkling and Clean Diwali to fellow Indians who celebrate it!!!

Diwali is a festival of lights – of recalling virtues and being religious…of having a great time with family and friends…of having and sharing sweets…of exchanging gifts…so far, so good!

But today, Diwali is synonymous with crackers and fireworks…And further, to the ‘pomp and show’ factor…No real harm if it is done in an environmentally and socially responsible way…but unfortunately, Diwali night has become a mark of enjoyment of a few, and plight of many!

Just to specify, the noise, the smoke, the filth on the ground after the crackers burst, the unsafe outdoors on that Night, is that what we call ‘celebration’ or ‘Festival’??? This negative side-effects persists for at-least the next few days of the Diwali Night…!

Are we so insensitive to what we are doing to the air we breathe, ground we walk on, and people we live with?

While can’t we celebrate Diwali the way it is enjoyable to us (we as a social group) at this moment and next moment?

Lets start a new trend – Compensate crackers with Lights…pollution with purity, within and without!

Towards a ‘Sparkling Diwali and Swachh India”…Happy DEEPAWALI!