Public transport users more prone to air pollution hazards: CSE

GN Bureau | February 23, 2015


#air pollution   #centre for sciene and environment   #air pollution delhi   #delhi pollution  


Delhi is inhaling unacceptable levels of toxins. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has revealed shocking facts and data about the capital’s respiratory health which is vulnerable even if a person is commuting via public transport (which is seen as solution to the problem of air pollution)

People residing in Delhi, one of the world’s most polluted cities, are exposed to different pollution levels while travelling in mass modes such as buses, the metro, autos or while walking.

CSE has monitored air pollution levels in various modes of public transport to assess the amount of pollution that average citizens are exposed to on a daily basis while travelling in the city.


Here are the highlights of the findings:
 

  • Exposure in all transport modes is very high: The average levels recorded are 2-4 times higher than the background levels reported by DPCC.
  • Open modes like autorickshaws, walking and cycling have the highest exposure.
  • During off-peak hours, all modes show lower levels: Difference between peak and off-peak was as follows -- autos 1.3 times higher; walking 1.5 times higher; and buses 2.5 times higher.
     
  • Underground metro with sealed environment shows lower levels of about 209 microgramme per cubic metre. The overhead metro had levels of 330 microgramme per cu m.
  •  Pollution levels peak near junctions and in traffic jams: Pollution levels increase when traffic is stationary at junctions and in traffic jams. In a traffic jam on a stretch close to Paharganj, levels peaked at 1,170 microgramme per cu m. At a traffic jam near Govindpuri Metro Station, the peak level was 725 microgramme per cu m.
  • Proximity to diesel trucks lead to extremely high exposure: A cycle rickshaw ride on NH 24 in close proximity to truck traffic recorded a range of 651 to 2,000 microgramme per cu m.
     
  • Cars do not help. Monitoring inside the car was carried out during off-peak hours -- the average levels were found to be double the ambient levels.

 

  • Traffic police are breathing unacceptably high levels: Monitoring carried out at the ITO crossing showed peak exposure at 8 times the ambient level.

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