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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy|| 186* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Faridabad is currently 24.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Unhealthy 186 AQI US
|Friday, Dec 1|
Unhealthy 162 AQI US
|Saturday, Dec 2|
Unhealthy 155 AQI US
|Sunday, Dec 3|
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 147 AQI US
|Monday, Dec 4|
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 147 AQI US
|Tuesday, Dec 5|
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 148 AQI US
|Wednesday, Dec 6|
Unhealthy 153 AQI US
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Faridabad is a city located in the Indian state of Haryana, being one of the largest cities in this region as well as a satellite city of Delhi. It has an estimated population of some 4.2 million inhabitants as of 2020, with a large number of industries taking place within the city limits, being a major industrial hub of the state in which it is located.
Observing its pollution levels, Faridabad came in with some exceptionally high readings, with a yearly average in 2019 of 85 μg/m³, regarding the levels of PM2.5 in the air. This reading is enough to put it high up in the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket, which requires a PM2.5 number of anywhere between 55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³ to be classed as such, and as the name suggests, the quality of air is extremely detrimental to human health.
This reading of 85 μg/m³ also put it in 12th place out of all cities registered in India, coming in just behind Jind and Bagpat. It also ranked in 18th place out of all cities worldwide, indicating a severe problem with the air quality levels in order to be ranked so highly, with vast amounts of smoke, haze and fumes permeating the atmosphere.
Faridabad would have a large number of pollution sources, all compounding together to create such high readings of PM2.5. Among them would be the main ones such as vehicle pollution, a constant issue worldwide but particularly pertinent in countries such as India and cities like Faridabad, where despite its rapid move towards modernization, still sees large numbers of ancient and outdated vehicles populating the roads, with cars and motorbikes alike running on diesel fuels, which give off larger amounts of pollution than their cleaner and more modern counterparts would.
With a booming economy often comes a large industrial sector, and many factories and production plants to feed the supply and demand chain, with Faridabad being famous for its production and exportation of Henna, a dye from a plant that is used as a form of temporary body art when applied to the skin, highly prevalent in use throughout India. Other sources of pollution would include the numerous construction sites around the city, as well as road works and renovation, all of which can churn large amounts of fine particulate matter into the air along with microplastics and heavy metals.
The open burning of refuse, garbage and other materials also adds heavily to the smoke and haze permeating the atmosphere, with material such as dead leaves and wood giving off large amounts of pollution, as well as synthetic or manmade materials such as rubber and plastics also being burnt, which have equally profound effects on the health of those in surrounding areas. All of the above issues add together to bring about the terrible pollution levels in Faridabad.
With a yearly average of 85 μg/m³, as well as certain months of the year having gone as high as 203.2 μg/m³, it can almost certainly be said that living in this city would have some form of detrimental effect for almost all sections of the population, in particular for those who are vulnerable, such as the young, the elderly, the sick or immunocompromised or those with preexisting respiratory conditions.
Of note is that exposure to any PM2.5 readings over the World Health Organizations (WHO) target goal of 0 to 10 μg/m³ may have negative health consequences. So, for readings as high as the aforementioned 203.2 μg/m³ to appear, during such months, vast numbers of negative health consequences will appear, which will be discussed.
As mentioned before, any PM2.5 reading above 10 μg/m³ may start to have adverse effects on health, and as this number grows, so does the instances of these negative events rise, as well as the diversity of illnesses and their severity. Some health problems would include ones such as cancer of the lungs, as well as rapid aging, deterioration or scarring of the lung tissue.
This not only leads to a higher mortality rate as well as reduced quality of life, but higher instances of respiratory related conditions from appearing, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, emphysema and aggravated forms of asthma. With high amounts of fine particulate matter in the air emanating from open burn sites, construction sites and factories, ones such as silica dust or black carbon can make their way deep into the lung tissue. From here they can raise instances of cancer, as well as cause the aforementioned respiratory conditions to occur, but furthermore due to their small size they have the ability to cross the blood barrier in the lungs and enter into the circulatory system.
Once within the blood, these fine particles (as well as other contaminants such as mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium) can cause damage to the blood vessels, raise instances of ischemic heart disease, and lead to further cardiac events such as heart attacks or arrythmias. Other conditions would be premature births in pregnant mothers, alongside chances of miscarriage or low birth weight in babies. Permanent damage can occur to the nervous system as well as organs such as the liver and kidneys, with the burning of synthetic materials and the chemicals they release being very much responsible for this.
With high vehicle emissions present, there often comes primary and secondary pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) in the air, along with the previously mentioned black carbon also being released from engines that run on diesel fuels.
The combustion of fossil fuels, as well as organic matter, can also lead to the production of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) such as benzene, formaldehyde and xylene, all of which have serious health consequences when inhaled, and due to their volatile nature are often found in gaseous form, hence easier to respire.
Other pollutants would include the large variety of ground particles from construction sites and road repairs, which would include silica, gravel, road dust, alongside microplastics and heavy metals. Carbon monoxide (CO) would be found in any area where burning is occurring, particularly dangerous in poorly ventilated areas such as houses, with other noxious contaminants in the air including polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins, furans and polychlorinated biphenyls.