IIT study raises concern over high particulate matter concentration at Delhi schools, colleges

• Study was conducted in schools, colleges, hospitals, shopping malls, restaurants, offices and cinema halls etc.

• According to it, concentration levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 were recorded 2-5 times higher than permissible limits set by Central Pollution Control Board for ambient air quality in India. Levels are 10-15 times higher than WHO’s 24-hour average limits.

Key causes identified:

• Smoking in offices, hospitals and colleges.

• High CO2 levels due to higher occupancy and inadequate ventilation.

• Use of chemical cleaning agents, floor cleaners and cooking oils causing high level of Volatile Organic Compounds in hospitals and restaurants.

• Other causes of IAP: Cooking using biomass, gases from painting, airborne particles from diesel exhaust etc.

Impact of Indoor air pollutions:

• Increases potential of health risks like respiratory illness, acute respiratory tract infection, etc.

• Significantly affects problem solving, mathematical abilities, IQ and learning capabilities in children.

• Impacts overall productivity due to fatigue, dizziness, allergies, sinus congestion etc.

• WHO designated IAP as one of the four most critical global environmental problems in developing countries.

• Some steps taken to address IAP include, Unnat Chulha Abhiyan, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana etc.

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Mains Paper 3: Environment

Prelims level: Indoor air pollutions

Mains level: Impact of Indoor air pollutions

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