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Unhealthy for sensitive groups
|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
|Unhealthy for sensitive groups
| 119* US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Meerut is currently 8.5 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 119 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 120 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 102 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Moderate 84 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 5
Moderate 87 AQI US
|Wednesday, Mar 6
Moderate 97 AQI US
|Thursday, Mar 7
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 110 AQI US
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Meerut is located 70 kilometres to the east of the Indian capital, New Delhi. It is in the western part of Uttar Pradesh province. In 2016 it had an estimated population level of just over 1.5 million in its metropolitan area.
At the start of 2021, Meerut was experiencing some very poor quality air with a US AQI reading of 215 which classifies it as “Very Unhealthy” according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendations. The recorded concentration of PM2.5 was 164.2 µg/m³.
As is often the case in many South Asian cities, the main source of air pollution comes from vehicle emissions and industry. The single largest man-made source of pollution, which remains constant through the year, is vehicular emission. Whilst other sources like pollution from the burning of biomass and other agricultural residues such as straw and leaves and the widespread use of fireworks occur at specific times of the year, vehicular pollution remains constant throughout the year.
Many of the older vehicles which emit a huge amount of pollutants are no longer permitted in Delhi due to its new tougher laws on air pollution. However, all this means is that these old vehicles are sold on to residents in these smaller cities where such laws are not as strict. The enforcement of rules and regulations is usually lower in these smaller cities. Heavy trucks are prohibited to go into the inner city areas during the hours of daylight, however, many are still seen within the city centre because they flout the law. In nearby Delhi, all public transport, including auto-rickshaws, buses and privately run minibuses, taxis and share-rickshaws are legally required to use CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). This is not the case in Meerut where they can still legally operate powered by diesel.
Similarly, industries are strictly controlled in Delhi where many are required to have filters and cleaners fitted to their chimneys. Again, this is not a strict requirement for Meerut.
The situation in Meerut and surrounding districts is bad due to pollution. The air quality in Meerut is again deteriorating. The average amount of PM2.5 is five times the standard, which can be extremely fatal for the lungs. According to the findings, it will soon become a gas chamber. AQI 411 was recorded in Loni in Ghaziabad, which is the highest in the state. At the same time, this figure reached 401 in Jaibhimnagar in Meerut. The levels of nitrogen and carbon monoxide are also increasing at an alarming rate.
Large numbers of people in the surrounding rural areas of Meerut are burning polythene and tyres to cook sugarcane. This increases the carbon monoxide level in the local atmosphere. Environmentalists are surprised at how pollution levels remain high despite intensive monitoring on industrial units, road dust, generators and brick kilns.
The air quality index is a numerical measure that is used to report daily air quality in relation to human health and the environment. The daily results of the index are used by the public to estimate the level of air pollution. An increase in the air quality index means that there is a serious threat to human health. In most cases, the air quality index indicates how clean or polluted the air around us is, and whether there may be a health risk related to that air.
The index formula typically focuses on 6 main pollutants: PM2.5, PM10, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone. Granular substances and ozone pollutants pose the greatest risk to human health and the environment. Different countries have their own established air quality indexes regarding air quality standards for public health safety.
Air quality in Meerut is described as a 'moderate' air quality index, but what does this mean. The air quality index is divided into six categories and each category corresponds to the level of different health problems. A full description of these six categories can be found on the IQAir.com website.
During the religious ceremony of Diwali, it is common practice to set off firecrackers to aid the celebration. Last year the local government banned their use in an attempt to improve the air quality. On the second day of Diwali, the US AQI number was significantly lower because of the ban. The air quality is often worse at this time of year due to the onset of winter when people start to heat their homes.
Cars and motorbikes should be regularly serviced and good quality gasoline should be used and not the cheaper variant which is often “extended” with cheaper hydrocarbons.
Solid fuel stoves are very popular due to their low running costs and availability of the fuel. Very often this is the dried animal dung which is surprisingly very efficient. However, converting stoves to LPG or electricity is expensive to install and operate and therefore not popular.
Air pollution increases in the city in winter due to the colder air. The air quality index in Meerut reached a very bad condition with extremely high levels of PM2.5. More than 400 µg/m³ (micrograms/microns per cubic meter) dissolved in the air, PM 2.5 is reaching the blood by crossing the membranes in the lung, called the alveoli. Due to this dangerous air, people are having lots of problems in breathing.
Due to dust and air pollution, respiratory allergies, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis and COPD are increasing, while many patients are suffering from a lack of oxygen in their body. Particulate matter floats in the air during the day due to sunlight and movement, whilst at night the air slows down and the particles pollute the dew which then gets into the respiratory layer. This causes the person to draw more pollution than during the day in an eight-hour sleep during the night. It has been recorded that the levels of PM2.5 and PM10 in the day reaches two to three hundred micrograms, whilst at night it reaches 500 micrograms. The concentrations of nitrogen, sulphur and carbon monoxide also increase.