The air quality in the national capital remained in the 'very poor' category on Saturday morning and is likely to get worse in the coming weeks. Particulate Matter
10 (PM10), which are fine enough to cause respiratory diseases was recorded at 372, according to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).
Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5), which are finer and are capable of entering the bloodstream, through the lungs, docked at 183 at 8:15 am in the morning.
The overall air quality was recorded at 306, which falls in the very poor category, according to Centre-run System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR).
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".
Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad too recorded "very poor" overall air quality while greater Noida continued to record AQI closer to 'severe' category.
"Air quality index is in the 'very poor' category and expected to increase further by tomorrow but will remain in very poor. Thereafter a slight improvement is predicted. At present, wind speed is slow and hence not good for air quality as it allows pollution to get accumulated. Humidity continued to be high and the temperature is likely to cool, both unfavourable. Stubble fire will have a marginal impact," the SAFAR added.
The menace of air pollution is not restricted to Delhi or the National Capital Region, but, is also engulfing most parts of the country especially metropolitan cities. According to the data compiled by Central Pollution Control Board in October, out of 68 cities, only 13 had AQI levels lower than 100, while 10 recorded AQI levels above 300.
During winter season each year, most of the northern part of India suffers from a spike in toxicity in the air due to the change in weather patterns and crop residue burning in neighbouring states such as Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Not only that, a dip in temperature along with low wind speed also tends to trap the air pollutants closer to the ground.