The air quality index failed to come up with pollution levels in around 28 locations in New Delhi due to lack of sufficient data on air pollution. The data generated in the last week shows that only six areas were monitored out of 11.
Monitoring by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed moderate quality of air in some regions. Due to this, it was not possible to get the exact data on the highly polluted areas of Shahdara and ITO and the industrial zone located near the Delhi College of Engineering in the north of Delhi.
The air quality index is known to categorize the quality of air as satisfactory, good, poor, moderate or very poor. The evaluation is based on the presence of three highest pollutants in a particular region in a span of average 24 hours.
Wrong Methodology of the Index
The methodology used by the index for calculating average presence of the three major pollutants in the air seems incapable of giving a clear picture. In particular, areas the index concluded that the air quality is moderate, however, the presence of a major particulate matter causing breathing ailments was found to be unusually high. This has put a question mark on the authenticity of the data provided by the index.
Experts believe that this wrong picture was created because there were some other pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide present in small amount in the air. They were responsible for bringing down the moderate category of the air quality.
How Can Air Pollution Affect Health?
The high amount of particulate matter in the air leads to air pollution, which can cause serious health problems especially in the elderly and children. Regular health ailments associated with air pollution include high incidences of respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, asthma, and several other lung diseases. Latest findings also suggest that higher content of pollutants in the air can also increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke.