Pollution levels spiked in Ghaziabad owing to burning of Ravana effigy on the occasion of Dussehra on Tuesday. The Air Quality Index (AQI) data from Pollution Control Board (PCB) shows that on Tuesday, between 10 pm and 11 pm, the AQI crossed 300 points.
To monitor the air quality, the PCB has installed four machines in Ghaziabad. These machines are installed each in Indirapuram, Vasundhara, Sanjay Nagar and Loni.
While the data shows that air quality was moderate, suddenly it deteriorated to 'poor' to 'very poor' in some areas post 11 pm.
Few hours before the burning of Ravana's effigy, PM 10 levels in Indirapuram were 104, while in Vasundhara they were 112. After 11pm, PM 10 levels increased almost thrice to 243 in Indirapuram and 311 in Vasundhara.
An AQI reading between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 'satisfactory' if it is betweem 51 and 100', and 'moderate' if it is between 101 and 200. If the reading is between 201 and 300, the air quality is considered 'poor', 'very poor' between 301 and 400 and 'severe' if it is between 401 and 500 .
However, the overall AQI this year was lower as compared to 2018. Last year, the AQI before burning of the Ravana effigy was recorded at 314.
Meanwhile, the AQI levels are expected to remain high till Diwali. Doctors have advised people suffering from breathing issues to take precautions.
Dr Anshul Varshney, physician and diabetologist practicing in Rajnagar Extension, advised people havuing breathing issues to not use mosquito repellents and agarbatti (incense sticks). “These things further pollute the air inside the house and create breathing difficulties. For temporary relief, anti-pollution masks can be used,” he added.
Varshney also said that people need to take very good care of themselves as respiratory illness during this time normally takes 15-20 days to heal.
Precautions to be taken by people suffering breathing issues
1. People suffering from Asthma and other respiratory diseases should avoid stepping out
2. Avoid dusty areas like construction sites
3. Use masks while going out
4. Keep moist clothes close to mouth even at homes. It absorbs dust and other pollutants
Adverse Effects of Pollution
1. Respiratory illness on prolonged exposure to pollution
2. Affects healthy people and seriously impacts those with existing illness