A spike in air pollution levels in the city is due to unfavourable meteorological conditions.
What happened? On Wednesday, the city’s air quality index (AQI) reached 240, categorised as poor, per the National Ambient Air Quality Standards set by the Central Pollution Control Board. The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) said it’s due to unfavourable meteorological conditions. The particulate matter is higher than the prescribed limit of 20 us/m3.
- Of the seven recording stations, the one at Alandur bus depot recorded 320 AQI. It’s enough to cause respiratory illness on prolonged exposure.
- There’s currently an air inversion where air doesn’t rise, and pollution accumulates at the ground leading to higher concentrated matter. Usually, most pollutants travel into the sea.
Dangers: PM 2.5 particles are 20 times smaller than the width of human hair. This gets absorbed into the bloodstream when breathed in and penetrates the respiratory and circulatory systems. If it fills the lungs, it can cause breathing issues and affect life expectancy. Short-term exposure can trigger asthma and heart trouble.