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Stronger air quality standards to control ultrafine pollutants | India News

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NEW DELHI: India’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) developed in 2009 are being revised to make them more accurate by measuring ultrafine PM 1 particles in addition to regular pollutants and also taking into account the use of new fuels and advances in the measurement of health impacts. The revised NAAQS is expected to be finalized in 12 months.
In addition to tightening the parameters, the new standards can add PM 1 (finer than PM 2.5) and other pollutants to the list to monitor and develop a new Air Quality Index (AQI). The revised standards, to be produced by the Central Pollution Control Board, will guarantee a new AQI for India.
The idea behind the revised standards for particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, benzene, ammonia and ozone is to ensure “adequate protection of health and the environment” having take into account the use of new fuels and technologies. , demographic parameters, advances in science and health effects that have changed substantially in the last 11 years.
“Groundwork on this will begin sometime this month. The CPCB has formed a steering committee that will guide all the work. The revised NAAQS will be finalized after consulting experts from different fields. It will also be open for public consultation, ”Prashant Gargava, CPCB member secretary, told TOI.
Sunil Dahiya, an analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) said that the move to make air quality standards more stringent was a welcome step to “avoid impacts on health and the associated cost to the economy. “.
Currently, among various pollutants, inhalable PM 2.5 and PM 10 show the strongest evidence of adverse health effects. The main objectives of NAAQS are to indicate “necessary air quality levels and appropriate margins” required to ensure the protection of vegetation, health and property, and also to provide a “uniform criteria” for the evaluation of air quality to Nacional level.
Consequently, the acceptable 24-hour weighted average level for PM 10 is currently 100 micrograms per cubic meter while it is 60 micrograms per cubic meter for PM 2.5. It means that levels beyond this limit are considered harmful to human health. Although the limits set by the WHO are much lower than this, India developed the NAAQS in 2009 with local conditions in mind.
In this regard, the CPCB has considered IIT Kanpur’s proposal. The base work will be carried out by experts from NEERI, IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, AIIMS, NPL and other scientific institutions.

Times of India

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