MeT sounds alarm, says air pollution levels in Kashmir are ‘dangerously’ high

Srinagar: Kashmir is proving to be no better than Delhi when it comes to alarming level of air pollution. Data available with the Meteorological Centre in Srinagar says that due to the prolonged dry spells the quantity of Black Carbons (in air) has gone up manifold even higher than the toxic level prescribed by World Health Organization (WHO).

The comparison of data about air pollution, especially about the presence of Black Carbons for the year 2016, 2017 draws a scary picture of the atmosphere that turns toxic in Kashmir primarily due to the prolonged dry spells.

The data provided by the Meteorological Centre, Srinagar, which is available with ‘Kashmir Vision,’ reveals that during December 2016, the quantity of Black Carbons present in the atmosphere was 50 µg/ m3, which as per the classification of WHO on Black Carbons fall in toxic category.

Interestingly, the level has gone up further as it touched 60 µg/ m3 in November this year.

The toxic level of Black Carbons, as per the data stays in the atmosphere from 12 in the noon till 12 in midnight, after which it dip considerably, till it reaches to the safe category.

Data for the month of November reveals that from November 11 to 14 the quantity of Black Carbons has remained high, as it was the period of dry spell, however, on November 15 there was a brief drizzle, ending the dry spell and with it the quantity of pollution levels.

Importantly, the WHO has classified the Black Carbons in three different categories: the range of 0-10µg/m3 falls in the Normal category, 10-20 µg/m3 falls in Safe Category and = 20 µg/m3 falls in Toxic category.

With brief drizzle, the data available shows that there has been a considerable decrease in the quantity of Black Carbons in the atmosphere on Nov 2017, in comparison to what has observed in December 2016, where after witnessing heavy rainfall, the quantity of air pollutants went down a little.

“Black Carbons are emitted in the atmosphere from the combustion of fuel and particularly the burning of leaves during the winter. Besides, the main sources of emission of carbons are the construction sites, however, what is saving the atmosphere, so far, is the absence of large scale industries in Kashmir,” Deputy Director Meteorological Centre, Srinagar, Mukhtar Ahmad said.

As per experts, the exposure to Black Carbons reduces lung function, especially in patients with a respiratory deficiency, such as asthma and other lung related ailments. Moreover, inflammatory reactions may arise in the lungs, leading to degradation of the autonomous nervous system, which indirectly affects heart function.

“Especially in children, a high level of exposure to fine particulate matter can affect the development of the lungs. Respiratory diseases like bronchitis, chronic cough, sinusitis and colds,” said a doctor.

“Due to dry spells, the pollutants get suspended in the atmosphere, thus polluting the air and leading to respiratory ailments, with decrease in the visibility. Exposure to black carbon is linked to health impacts such as cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality and reducing people’s exposure to particles containing black carbon will therefore also reduce such adverse health impacts”  according to a recent report published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

 “We are expecting a dry spell till 10 Dec, which will again be adding to the quantity of Black Carbons in the atmosphere,” says Mukhtar Ahmad.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.