Hyderabad: Hyderabad may soon face a smog situation similar to that in Delhi. With the drop in temperature and occurrence of fog, the officials of the Pollution Control Board have noticed an alarming decrease in the city’s ambient air quality, leading to an increase in the concentration of pollution at lower levels. Dust samplers and the gaseous sampling equipment indicate the rise in pollutants which intensify into smog with a dip in temperature.
“In cold conditions, most pollutants are not dispersed and remain concentrated at the lower strata of the atmosphere. Therefore, there is a marked increase in pollution in the winter months when fog formation increases and wind speed decreases. This leads to smog formation,” said Veeranna Patil, scientific officer, Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB).
The recent APPCB data recorded on November 14, states that Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter values at Charminar, Punjagutta and Abids areas were 194, 146 and 120 mu grams per cubic metre respectively, while the national standard permits 100 mu grams per cubic metre on the higher side.
The Total Suspended Particulate Matter across the city stood at an average of 270 mu grams per cubic metre, whereas the national standard is only half of this value. Sulphur dioxide and the nitrogen oxide values have also been on an increase.
“This is measured including PM 10, i.e., particles that are very small in size and cannot be filtered before inhaling. They often result in pulmonary health problems when they reach the lungs,” Patil said.
ENT specialists said that in extreme conditions, health problems become irreversible. Dr Manish Kumar, a surgeon and an ENT specialist at the Government ENT Hospital said, “The high concentration of dust particles travel from the nasal mucosa to the larynx, trachea and then to the lungs.
Apart from irritation, it also leads to rhinitis, bronchitis, laryngitis and in severe cases cause pulmonary fibrosis, an irreversible health condition. So, people who go to work early in the mornings should always use protective measures like a scarf to cover their face.”