Chandigarh gasps as PM 2.5 level remains way above permissible limit

Hina Rohtaki
The AQI remained on “moderate” levels on Sunday, which are much above “good” and even “satisfactory” category.

Exposing Chandigarh residents to numerous health hazards, Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 levels remained way above permissible limits on Sunday, as recorded by the Sector 25 monitoring station.

PM 2.5 is the minutest and finest particle in the air that is able to travel deep into the respiratory tract.

From 6 am onwards, the PM 2.5 level remained above the permissible limit of 86 micrograms per cubic meter till 8 pm. The 24-hour permissible level is 60 micrograms per cubic meter.

Fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) is an air pollutant that is a health hazard when levels in the air are high. PM2.5 are tiny particles in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated. Such particles are able to travel deep into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs.

According to doctors, exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Prolonged exposure can deteriorate the respiratory health.

On Sunday, the air quality index (AQI) gave breathing discomfort to those with lung and heart diseases as it remained 102 micrograms per cubic metre at 8 pm. It remained in “moderate” levels which are much above “good” and even “satisfactory” category.

“Stubble burning in adjoining areas can be one of the key reasons for bad air quality. We will also closely monitor the air quality levels till Diwali,” a senior official of the Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee, adding that people should avoid prolonged exposure and also avoid morning and evening walks.