“We Are Breathing Poison,” Says Delhi Doctor As Mild Rain Fails To Better Air Quality

The Logical Indian Crew Delhi

December 14th, 2018 / 6:10 PM

Image Credits: IBN Khabar

For Delhi’s enjoyable, pleasant winter, air quality report is always a mood spoiler. On Wednesday, December 12, Delhi’s air quality remained “severe” for the third day in a row. Due to the unfavourable meteorological condition, air quality index continues to deteriorate unabated.

According to the system of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), “Current meteorological condition-fall in temperature and high moisture in Delhi are such that it could have led to rainfall, but insufficient rain always deteriorates the air quality,” reported The Times of India. Calm surface wind is also responsible for the same as it does not allow dust particles to disperse, the report added. Authorities warned that the little rain that Delhi received on December 13, had brought down the pollution level, but it being insufficient, the respite won’t be for long. 

Authorities said that a thick haze engulfed the national capital with mild rain further adding to pollution woes as predicted by the SAFAR. On Tuesday, SAFAR had said that a sufficient amount of rain would bring down the pollution level, but insufficient or little rain might even deteriorate the air quality in Delhi-NCR.  

Ghaziabad recorded as worst AQI

Air quality index (AQI) between 301 to 400 is considered ‘very poor’ between 401 to 500 as ‘severe’. The overall air quality index recorded by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was 413 on Wednesday, falling under the ‘severe’ category for the third day. On Monday AQI was 412 and 415 on Tuesday.

As many as twenty-nine areas in Delhi had ‘severe’ air quality, and eight was recorded at ‘very poor’. Reportedly, areas like Wazirpur, Ashok Vihar and Bawana edged towards ‘severe plus emergency’. According to CPCB data, AQI in the areas neighbouring Delhi like Ghaziabad and Noida was also recorded as ‘severe’ with Ghaziabad being the worst with AQI 429.

The AQI is likely to stay ‘severe’ for a couple of days more; however, it may get better when wind speed picks up, said Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). Pollution dispersion is quite tricky with unfavourable wind speed and high moisture in the atmosphere.   

Doctors and experts worried

Experts say that with AQI at this level, even a healthy person will face difficulty to breathe. “If I have to substantiate my answer, I would say we are breathing poison. Breathing was a means of survival, but, today, the more we breathe, more it takes us closer to death, because of the kind of pollution we have in Delhi”, said Dr Arvind Kumar, co-founder, Lung Care foundation and chest surgeon at Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, while talking to The Logical Indian.

He also said that the primary cause of all the troubles in the presence of the PM 2.5, a very minute dust particle coated with toxic chemicals that get lodged in the periphery of our lungs, thus causing damage.

Children are most affected among all, being exposed to the particles and pollution during school hours. “Today, more than 25% of the school going children have asthma and lung related issues,” said Dr Arvind. Also, according to WHO report, pneumonia accounts for 18% for all deaths among children under the age of 5 and it is one of the most commonly found issues in Delhi today, he added. 

The Logical Indian take

It is impossible to undo the damages we have caused to this planet. But we can try to fix it while we have still time.

The Logical Indian suggests people in Delhi keep a track on the pollution level and avoid going out in mornings and evenings. Children need special care as they are more vulnerable to asthmatic attacks and pneumonia. The government, as well as people, need to realise that we what we have taken for granted will not last forever. We need to work together with immediate effect, putting aside all politics and agendas, to ensure our coming generation have fresh air to breathe instead to ‘poison.’

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Written by : Anukriti Ganesh (Student, IIJNM)

Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi

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