|3||Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh|
|5||Durgapur, West Bengal|
|9||Kolkata, West Bengal|
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Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups|| 112 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 40.2 µg/m³|
PM2.5 concentration in Dharuhera air is currently 4 times above WHO exposure recommendation
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 110 US AQI
|Wednesday, Aug 4|
Moderate 86 US AQI
|Thursday, Aug 5|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 108 US AQI
|Friday, Aug 6|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 120 US AQI
|Saturday, Aug 7|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 115 US AQI
|Sunday, Aug 8|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 120 US AQI
|Monday, Aug 9|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 118 US AQI
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Dharuhera is a city located in the northern region of the country, within the state of Haryana. It is known as an industrial hub and economic corridor linking the capital city of New Delhi with Gurgaon, and as a result of this, it has seen some depreciation in its air quality levels in recent years, with some severe issues arising as a result of continued industrial and anthropological activity, bringing it into the higher tiers of the worlds most polluted cities.
Observing the air quality recorded in April of 2021, it can be seen that Dharuhera came in with a US AQI reading of 191, a high number that classified it as ‘unhealthy’, indicating that the air would be permeated with smoke, haze, smog and a variety of hazardous particles. These higher readings of US AQI numbers were consistent throughout the adjacent months, with both March and April presenting with high readings, with US AQI readings going as high as 264 in early April.
Pollution levels such as these would make Dharuhera have an extremely unhealthy level of air quality, with many adverse effects occurring amongst its general population, with numerous respiratory and cardiac problems arising as a result.
Looking back at the readings of air pollution collected over 2020, Dharuhera came in with a PM2.5 reading of 72.5 μg/m³ as its yearly average, a very high number that placed it well within the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, roughly 30% the width of a human hair, and going down to sizes many times smaller.
Due to this small size, and the number of different materials that go into making up the PM2.5 collective, it is profoundly harmful to human health when respired. As such, it is one of the major components used in calculating the over AQI level, as well as a prominent measure of pollution levels in its own right.
This reading of 72.5 μg/m³ that Dharuhera came in with over the course of 2020 placed it in 22nd place out of all cities ranked in India in the same year, as well as 30th place out of all cities ranked worldwide. This indicates that there is much that the city could do to further improve its air quality levels, and although many steps are already in place to ensure that this happens, it will take a concentrated effort over the coming years to ensure that safer emission standards are met and adhered to.
The main causes of polluted air that occur within the city would be ones such as vehicular fumes and exhaust collecting in the atmosphere and on the ground level, being trapped within roads and buildings, unable to properly disperse and causing the pollution level to rise even further. Many vehicles in use within the city would be aged, lacking the stringent road standards that are required to get older and more polluting vehicles off the road.
When this is coupled with the fact that lower quality fuels are sometimes used (as well as fossil fuels such as diesel also being used in larger freight vehicles such as lorries and trucks), the end result is a compounded situation in which the air quality is severely tarnished from massive vehicle overuse, with meteorological conditions causing the situation to worsen during certain times of the year.
Other prominent causes of pollution would be emissions from factories, power plants, as well as other similar industrial facilities. Many of these areas utilize fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal as their main power source, which can put out large amounts of chemical compounds into the air, some of which will be discussed at the end of the article. Other sources include the burning of refuse and waste, along with firewood and charcoal for household use. Large amounts of particulate matter can also be released from poorly paved roads, as well as construction sites, demolition areas and road repairs, with many fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM10) particles being released into the air at great detriment to people’s health.
Looking at the pollution levels recorded over the course of 2020, it can be seen that the period of time in which the air quality was at its absolute worst was at the end of the year. As well as this, the first few months of the year were also equally hazardous, indicating that there is a pattern in which the air quality would worsen towards the end of the year, reaching its peak in the last two months, after which it would start to subside in the early months of the following year, which would still see high levels of PM2.5 as a residual after effect (as well as continued pollution causes occurring).
PM2.5 levels took a turn for the worst in October, with Septembers reading of 52.8 μg/m³ going up to 129.7 μg/m³ in October, and then hitting the years peak with readings of 159.3 μg/m³ in November and 177.7 μg/m³ in December, making December the most polluted month of the year, as well as placing it within the ‘very unhealthy’ air quality bracket.
Despite the terrible levels of air quality seen at the beginning and end of the year, the months of May through to August actually came in with some relatively appreciable levels of air quality. They were, in respective order, 34.3 μg/m³, 37.8 μg/m³, 30.5 μg/m³ and 21.4 μg/m³, making August the cleanest month of the year by a considerable amount, being many magnitudes lower than some of the year’s highest readings.
With many of the pollution sources having been discussed, they would carry with them a large amount of main air pollutants. These include ones such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), released mainly from vehicle engines, as well as numerous other combustion sources. Black carbon and volatile organic compounds would also be found in the air, along with metals such as mercury and lead, fine particles such as gravel, dust and silica, as well as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, furans, and ozone (O3).