|2||New Delhi, Delhi|
|3||Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh|
|4||Dadri, Uttar Pradesh|
|5||Noida, Uttar Pradesh|
|8||Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh|
|9||Sector, Uttar Pradesh|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy|| 175* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Darbhanga is currently 20.3 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Unhealthy 175 US AQI
|Monday, Dec 5|
Unhealthy 176 US AQI
|Tuesday, Dec 6|
Unhealthy 175 US AQI
|Wednesday, Dec 7|
Unhealthy 182 US AQI
|Thursday, Dec 8|
Unhealthy 179 US AQI
|Friday, Dec 9|
Unhealthy 184 US AQI
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Darbhanga has in recent times, presented with US AQI readings that would put its inhabitants at significant risk of many health issues, some of which will be discussed in further detail later in the article. Readings as high as 189 US AQI were taken in late January of 2022, placing Darbhanga into the 'unhealthy' air quality rating bracket. This placed the hazardous particle count (PM2.5) level at being some 26 higher than the safe exposure standards set out by the World Health Organization, and extreme readings of 326 were taken in December of 2021, placing Darbhanga into the highest possible air pollution rating bracket, that of the ‘hazardous’ one. This indicates that during days such as this, the air would be permeated by smoke, haze, smog and clouds of extremely dangerous particulate matter. Whilst a few days have gone down to slightly lower readings (which are still very high and present a fair amount of risk, by international standards), it remains that the air in Darbhanga is indeed polluted and preventative measures should be employed as often as possible, in order to reduce the negative side effects meted out by breathing excessive levels of pollution.
Whilst there does not currently exist a concise history of recorded air quality data that has been properly calibrated, it still stands to reason that as with many cities throughout India and particularly those of nearby regions where the industrial activity along with anthropogenic activity bears a very similar resemblance, patterns are sure to emerge that can be used to predict when the air pollution levels will be at their highest, pertinent for cities such as Darbhanga. Whilst other cities such as Noida and New Delhi have had their yearly pollution averages taken for the last few years (with the yearly average being shown in PM2.5 levels), Darbhanga does not have yearly average data available before 2021. However, as mentioned, averages can be meted out, and utilizing the vast amount of data available for cities throughout India, Darbhanga is most likely to reach peak pollution levels towards the end of the year, as well as the early months of the following year also carrying with them significantly higher pollution levels, some of which may render the air nearly unbreathable in certain areas of the city. The middle months of the year seem to offer some respite, as is seen time and time again in cities countrywide, although as there are a large number of variables that the PM2.5 and US AQI readings are subject to, these figures can vary drastically depending on what has occurred in each year. Occurrences such as natural disasters, along with manmade ones, adverse meteorological conditions (such as a lack of wind and rain, which can play a fairly significant role in reducing pollution buildup in many cities) can all lead to varied pollution readings throughout the year, with even purported months that one might expect to be cleaner seeing sudden spikes in their air pollution levels. As such, vigilance should be practiced and air quality forecasts and readings kept up to date. As it stands, however, Darbhanga is most likely to see higher pollution readings at both the beginning and end of the year, as mentioned above.
Some of the health issues that may present themselves amongst the citizens of Darbhanga, will usually come at times of the year when pollution levels are at their very highest, as one would expect. Furthermore, the aforementioned vulnerable groups would be more susceptible to suffering from these ill effects. Some examples of these include instances of dry coughs, chest pain and accompanying infections, as well as the illnesses that fall under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) bracket, namely asthma, bronchitis and emphysema, and other similar ailments that cause reduced lung function as well as narrowing of the respiratory tract. Heart diseases may also appear, with increased rates of heart attacks having a strong correlation to rising pollution levels, along with strokes, arrhythmias, damage to the nervous system and premature death as a direct, or indirect result of excessive pollution exposure. These are a small number of health conditions that may present themselves within Darbhanga, with many more being possible, along with the worsening of pre-existing health conditions amongst certain individuals.
Pollution levels in Darbhanga are elevated due to a variety of different sources all contributing to the elevated readings seen in both the past and the ones that will continue to crop up in the future. Many of them release their unique pollutants in the forms of smoke, haze and clouds of hazardous fine particulate matter. Along with certain ones that are unique to industrial processes or other polluting causes, there are also ones that are broader and tend to be released from many if not all of the polluting sources. The chemicals released from these sources will be discussed further in the article. For now, Darbhanga has its pollution coming prominently from industrial sites, factories, and other businesses (both large and small scale) that have a form of combustion taking place to provide energy. Any form of combustion can release large amounts of pollution into the air, and if these procedures are not handled with strict protocol (which is more common in certain areas that have less stringent measures in place), much larger amounts of dangerous pollution can escape into the air and drive the PM2.5 levels as well as the US AQI readings up. Darbhanga is known as an industrial city, and as such the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, natural gas and diesel can be major contributing factors. Furthermore, due to having a fairly large population that sees continued vehicle ownership, cars, motorbikes and other smaller personal vehicles would also release large amounts of pollution in the air, more so if they are of the aged or poorly maintained variety, or if lower quality fuels are used in their engines. Larger or more heavy-duty freight vehicles such as trucks, lorries and even buses can release many tons of soot and other particles into the atmosphere, with a fair amount of these vehicles still utilizing diesel as their main fuel source. The continual wear and tear of tire treads can also cause tons of finely ground rubber particles to enter into both the air, bodies of water and the earth, over long periods, which can have a harsh effect on both the surrounding wildlife outside of the city limits, as well as contaminating water sources, entering into the food chain and causing breathing problems amongst those that are exposed to these ultrafine particles (amongst many other polluting materials present throughout the air, ground and water in Darbhanga).
Groups that are most at risk to higher pollution levels in Darbhanga include those that are young and still undergoing vital developmental stages, so children and babies will be highly susceptible to health conditions such as stunted growth and the appearance of potentially lifelong health problems such as asthma. Other groups of at-risk individuals include those that reside near areas that see a higher level of air pollution coming from busy roads, industrial sites and other similar areas where any form of combustion is taking place. The elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems can all be considered as far more vulnerable to the damaging effects of air pollution in Darbhanga.