NEW DELHI: In an alarming news about the quality of air in Delhi, a survey has found the deadly PM2.5 levels in the national capital was 10 times higher than the safety limit prescribed by the World Health Organisation.
Air quality monitoring survey conducted by Greenpeace inside five prominent schools in the city also found that the PM2.5 levels were four times more against the prescribed Indian safety limits.
"The real-time monitoring data from all the five schools revealed particulate matter 2.5 to be at very unhealthy levels," a Greenpeace release said.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution impacts the most vulnerable sections of the population and children were among the worst hit.
The survey was conducted between January 23 and February 12 at the schools including Greenfield Public School (Vivek Vihar in East Delhi), Mirambika School (Sri Aurobindo Marg in South Delhi), Delhi Police Public School (Safdarjung Enclave in South West Delhi), Salwan Public School (Rajender Nagar in Central Delhi) and American Embassy School (Chanakyapuri in South West Delhi).
The survey showed that the maximum level of PM2.5 at Greenfield Public School in Vivek Vihar on January 23 was 253.
It was 209 at the American Embassy School on February 12. The maximum level of PM2.5 was 243 at Salwan Public School on February 5. At Mirambika School the maximum level of PM2.5 was 251 on January 27. It was 246 at Delhi Public School on February 5.
Studies by US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) have concluded that exposure to PM2.5 in children will mean reduced lung functioning, increase in asthma and respiratory illnesses.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified particulate matter pollution as carcinogenic to humans in 2013, and designated it as a "leading environmental cause of cancer deaths".