If your are a frequent visitor to some of the busiest junctions of India’s capital, prepare for heavy assault on your health, especially respiratory organs as the air in these areas has been found to be exceedingly chocked with the poisonous gas nitrogen oxide (NOx) – a chief air pollutant resulting mostly from vehicular emission.
According to the data generated by Central Pollution Control Board, the level of NO2 – the measure for NOx – has been alarmingly higher than the permissible limit in the last few years and its level has been constantly on the rise.
It is not the rise alone, but experts say that the trend of the rise in the past few years is a case for concern too.
According to CSE figures, the NOx level detected in one of these junctions – ITO – is 1.4 times more than the standard of 80microgram per cubic meter! To add to the sorry state, scientists cannot zero n on a particular source of this rise.
S. D. Makhijani, Director, CPCB said,
We could say that a rise in vehicles has resulted in too much NOx. But, we cannot really be sure as to which types of vehicles are to be blamed.
* How lethal is NOx?
Nitrogen oxide results in deterioration cardio-respiratory diseases to acute levels, experts say. According to one of them, unlike other gases, NOx has the ability to travel to the deeper sections of the lungs resulting in heave long-term damage.
Do you know, its property is similar to the gas the Nazis used in their gas chambers for mass killing!-he says.
* Cause and effect
NOx also causes what is called the Silo filler’s disease. Head of Center for Environment and Occupational Health, MAMC, Dr. T.K. Joshi said,
This disease can cause sudden death, swelling of the lungs and a variety of other problems. It is a fatal occupational disease.
* Why is it rising?
According to Center for Science and Environment, a rise in the number of diesel vehicles isth chief reason. Anumita Roy Chowdhury, Associate Director, CSE said,
Diesel cars are legally allowed to emit three times more NOx than petrol vehicles. That is one reason why the rise in NOx remins unbound.
She adds that the rise in NOx can be attributed to the changing composition of vehicular traffic as well. She says,
While four-stroke vehicles emit a lot less hydrocarbon and particulate matters as compared to two-stroke ones, they generate much more NOx. Large influx of transit trucks are the other contributory factors.
Makhijani says that even poorly maintained CNG vehicles could be the reason. He says,
While CNG has resulted in lowering other pollutants in air, it could have contributed to the rise in NOx to some extent.
Not, just Delhi, the rising trend is noticed in the country’s other cities like Faridabad, Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune.
Via: Hindustan Times
Courtesy: Avishek G Dastidar