File Image: AP
A survey conducted on thousands of Delhi households across varying socio-economic background found that the average particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels in Delhi for low-income households were way above the limits recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC), conducted between 2018 and 2020 revealed that rich and poor households were equally affected.
The researchers also found out high-income households were 13 times more likely to own air purifiers than low-income households. Yet, the indoor air pollution levels in those homes were only 10 percent lower than those living in disadvantaged setting, reported BBC news.
Dr Kenneth Lee, the lead author of the study, was quoted by TOI as saying that no one gets to breathe clean air in Delhi, regardless of economic background.
“In Delhi, the bottom line is – whether someone is rich or poor, no one gets to breathe clean air,” said Dr Kenneth Lee, the lead author of the study. “It’s a complex vicious cycle.”
Researchers also observed that even when people were offered a free trial of indoor air quality monitor to track pollution levels inside their homes, the take-up rates were low.
“When you do not know about the pollution levels inside your homes, you do not worry about it, and hence you are less likely to take corrective actions. Only with increased awareness, demand for clean air may gain momentum,” added Dr Lee.
The national capital’s air quality this November was the worst for the month in seven years with the city witnessing severe pollution on 11 days and not a single “good” air quality day, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data.
The data also showed that the capital did not record even a single “good”, “satisfactory” or “moderate” air quality day this month, while there were two “poor” and 17 “very poor” air quality days.Internet Explorer Channel Network