Air pollution levels alarmingly high a day after dust storms from Rajasthan hit the city
Delhi’s average PM 10 levels were 8 times the permissible limit on June 13. Credit: Reuters
At 12pm today, Delhi’s average PM 10 levels remained at a worrying 838.95 ug/m3, indicating that the dust storm that hit the capital on June 12 has continued. The 24-hours permissible levels of PM 10— the concentration of particulate matter of diameter less than 10 microns – is 100 ug/m3 and the current levels can cause “respiratory effects even on healthy people and serious health impacts on people with lung/ heart diseases. The health impacts may be experienced even during light physical activity”.
The city was engulfed in dust towards the afternoon on June 12 after strong anti-cyclonic winds blew from Rajasthan and caused “hazy” conditions in the capital. From a PM 10 level of 363 ug/m3 at 9 am on June 12, it spiked to 675 ug/m3 by 11 am. By 2 pm, PM 10 levels had reached 831 ug/m3, as per the Central Pollution Control Board. The highest PM 10 level was recorded at 10 pm.
The poor air quality continued to rise on 13 June, with PM 10 reaching 877 ug/m3 at 1 am. Media reports suggest the dust storm, which was triggered by strong anti-cyclonic winds from the desert areas in west Rajasthan, will continue for the next few days.
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