HYDERABAD: AS Hyderabadis celebrated the festival of lights by bursting crackers on Wednesday, air over the city got loaded with toxic levels of Particulate Matter -- tiny particles created as a result of burning of chemicals, fossil fuels or other materials -- which get suspended in the air and can get into people’s lungs as they breathe, leading to respiratory and cardiovascular problems.
The Particulate Matter (PM) levels in Hyderabad’s air shot up so sharply on Deepavali night, that they were four to five times more than the levels recorded on a normal day. The PM are of two types depending on their size - PM10, of 10 micrometer or less in diameter and PM2.5, of 2.5micrometer or less in diameter. One can imagine the alarming levels of air pollution created by burning of crackers, as the peak PM10 level recorded in a far-off and quaint place like ICRISAT at Patancheru was a whopping six times the maximum permissible limit, as winds carried the pollutants all the way from places where crackers were burst.
As per the hourly average data of air pollutants recorded by continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) of Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB), the peak PM10 level recorded in ICRISAT was 605 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) between 8 and 9 p.m. It was 412 at Bollaram (8-9 p.m.), 229 at Hyderabad zoo (8-9 p.m.) and 305 at the University of Hyderabad (at 11 p.m.).
However, the maximum permissible limit of PM10 averaged over 24 hours, as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), is 100.
However, compared to previous years, there is no rise in the 24-hour average value of PM10 and PM2.5 on Deepavali day. Rather it has remained almost the same, indicating not much rise in the bursting of crackers.