0646 GMT February 22, 2019
PM10 are particulate matter with less than or equal to 10 micrometers in diameter present in air, weather.com
These tiny particles of dust and other pollutants are small enough to enter lungs through breathing and cause complications ranging from coughing and sneezing to heart attack and stroke.
Researchers from the Center for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi-based research and advocacy think tank, analyzed the air quality data collected by the Central Pollution Control Board from various cities. Bengaluru was fourth, after Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, in a list of cities that reported increase in toxicity in the air.
Deliberating on their study at the ongoing ‘State of India’s Environment’ conclave, CSE executive director (research and advocacy) Anumita Roy-Chowdhury said administrators and state pollution board officials have a tendency to compare air quality index in their respective cities with that of Delhi and feel they are in a safer zone.
“Never make Delhi your benchmark. What’s happening in Delhi is alarming. Health emergency and other adverse effects of air pollution could occur at much lower levels of toxicity as well. Many cities in India are already experiencing it,” Anumita said.
Researchers said lack of adequate and real-time air quality monitoring stations continues to contribute to the ambiguity around the air pollution scenario in many cities.
“After a lot of media attention and activism, the number of monitoring stations in Delhi has gone up to 35. There is some good quality data available now. Many cities do not have even five real-time monitoring stations,” said a member of the study team.
The CSE study has found that some of the smaller cities and towns in India have witnessed alarming level of increase in PM 10 levels.
“Places like Dhanbad in Jharkhand (122 percent), Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh (114 percent) and Jaipur of Rajasthan (81 percent) are some examples,” the study said.