<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Post Diwali there has been hardly any let up in the pollution level, as toxic air continues to batter the lungs of Delhiites. According to monitoring stations across the city the air quality dipped to “very poor”on Tuesday and according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (Safar) the levels of airborne particulate matter PM 10 touched 289 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) and PM 2.5 touched 171 µg/m3 on Tuesday morning .The ‘safe limit’ set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is 100 µg/m3 for PM 10 and 60 µg/m3 for PM 2.5. Meanwhile, the air quality index recorded for Delhi by the CPCB, based on as many as 15 monitoring stations, on Tuesday, was 351 µg/m3. It also remained “very poor” for Noida and Gurgaon as well at 349 µg/m3 and 343 µg/m3 while neighbouring Ghaziabad and Faridabad had “severe” air quality with 439 µg/m3 and 410 µg/m3.Anything recorded beyond 400 µg/m3 indicates severe air quality, and between 300 and 400 µg/m3 is seen as very poor. Experts say that what is likely to make the situation worse is the drop in temperatures. And already the Capital is seeing a fall in temperature. The maximum temperature recorded by the weather department on Tuesday was 30 degrees while the minimum was 17 degrees Celsius.The mercury is likely to remain stable till Thursday when the minimum temperature drops by one degree to settle at 16 degrees Celsius. It will again rise to 17 degrees on the weekend.The drop in temperature is not good sign for air pollution. This is because a drop in temperature leads to reduced wind speed and a rise in air pollution. This ensures the pollutants suspended in the air are not able to disperse and thus remain hanging in the air.Of late, winters have become the harbinger of worse weather conditions as pollution increases severely due to concentration of toxic gases in the air. Stubble burning by farmers from neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana make matters worse for the Capital that has already been ranked as one of the worst polluted cities in the world.DEATH BY AIRThe ‘safe limit’ set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is 100 µg/m3 for PM 10 and 60 µg/m3 for PM 2.5. Anything recorded beyond 400 µg/m3 indicates severe air quality, and between 300 and 400 µg/m3 is seen as very poor.
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