Study on Air Quality and Urban Health in Delhi - Team Finland Future Watch

White Paper, Aug 2013

Outdoor air pollution h...
Study on Air Quality and Urban Health in Delhi - Team Finland Future Watch

White Paper, Aug 2013

Vehicular boom in Delhi...
Study on Air Quality and Urban Health in Delhi - Team Finland Future Watch

White Paper, Aug 2013

Air Pollution effects o...
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Air quality and health effects in delhi, Team Finland Future Watch White Paper

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Air quality and health effects in delhi, Team Finland Future Watch White Paper

  1. 1. Study on Air Quality and Urban Health in Delhi - Team Finland Future Watch White Paper, Aug 2013 Outdoor air pollution has become the fifth largest killer in India after high blood pressure, indoor air pollution, tobacco smoking and poor nutrition, according to a Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report. Status of Ambient Air Quality in Delhi In Delhi the biggest health hazards, including cancer, are thought to come from particulate matters, the tiny particles of dust and exhaust residues that turn the sky in winter from blue to hazy yellow. Gasoline based technology (MPFI) in India is up-to-date with global standards but the diesel based technology (CRDI) is still to catch up. There is pressure from the refinery lobby not to go for better quality fuel. Levels of nitrogen oxide almost doubled from 2001 to 2010, from 29 micrograms to 55, on average. A measure of particulate matter PM10 has also more than doubled, from 120 to 261, way above the prescribed limit of 60. The pollution is lower in summer, and during the monsoon. In the DELHI winter, by contrast, truly terrifying levels lift the annual average. On • Landlocked city with 1434sq.Km. Area November 5th 2012, for example, • Population approx. 16.7 million (2011 census) the PM10 level was at 749, more  23 million (2021) than twelve times over the healthy limit. And for more dangerous • 21% of city is road PM2.5, the official Delhi site • 10% of country’s vehicular population and 17% reported a level of 489 on the of country’s cars are in Delhi (6 million vehicles) same date, which was again over • 200 metro trains carry 2.1 million people daily. 12 times the safe limit. (Source: The Economist, Nov 2012). During peak 8 hours, 1.5 million passengers Anumita Roy Chaudhury, travel by metro. Executive Director of Centre for • Extreme climate 2-46 C Science & Environment is of the • Rains only in monsoon or scanty winter rains. opinion that the annual average level of pollutants is not the true (Average Rainfall 617 mm) measure of health risks to the • 46 types of vehicle move on same road space population, which is far greater • 798339 million tons of petrol and 946228 due to vehicular traffic in their breathing zone (those living 500 million tons of diesel used in 2009/10 meter from roadside). According to her, it is exposure monitoring that should be introduced; the science of ambient air monitoring is still very weak in India. What causes such high levels of pollution in Delhi? Delhi’s environment is very fragile and manmade activities inside the city and around it have serious consequence on the population. Vehicular exhaust is the main cause, contributing 70% to the air pollution, followed by industrial and domestic sources, contributing 20% and 10%, respectively. Finpro India, Dharmesh Sharan
  2. 2. Study on Air Quality and Urban Health in Delhi - Team Finland Future Watch White Paper, Aug 2013 Vehicular boom in Delhi: 1 out of 5 households in Delhi own a car, and the number of vehicles in the city is more than that of Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore put together. There has been 50.61% increase in vehicular traffic in Delhi in the last decade whereas road length has increased by 10.42% only. As per records, 7.438 million vehicles are registered in Delhi (31 March, 2011) which is estimated to be 12 million by 2020. In 2012 alone 0.16 million cars were registered in Delhi. 1400 new registered vehicles appear to roads every day and 1.2 million vehicles enter Delhi from NCR (National Capital Region) towns every day. Industrial activities around Delhi add to the fugitive emissions’ presence. Delhi being landlocked is exposed to intrusive winds carrying these particulates. Main fugitive emission sources after vehicle movement being (a) Crushing – fine dust generated, gets air borne (stone, coal, iron ore), (b) Free fall – from crusher to belt conveyor - from one belt to other belt - dust gets air borne, (c) Screening – dust gets loose and get air borne (dal and, rice mills, stone crushers), (d) Bulk material handling (e) Storage piles (clinker, limestone, coal, gravel, dust) (f) Loading / unloading of stones (g) Scrap melting operations (Induction Furnaces – steel, lead, brass, zinc), (h) Open area wind erosion – wind blows away dust. Delhi is one of the biggest real estate markets of India. There are eg over 1,000 brick kilns in the vicinity of Delhi, serving its construction boom and they bake bricks by burning coal, wood and other organic smoky materials which are released in the atmosphere. Agricultural practices such as burning of crop stubble in Punjab, U.P. Haryana (the neighboring states) Industrial activities around Delhi release particulates in the air. Winds carry dust, particulates, humidity into the city from outside the city limits. Open burning of leaves (or fire crackers during Diwali festival), inversion of temperature during winter, etc leave the air dangerously polluted and this effects urban health. This is further exacerbated due to lack of free circulation of air, which gets trapped between manmade structures like buildings. Health Hazards Particulate Matters: Automotive exhaust is the main source of particulate matters PM 10 and PM 2.5. Particulate Matter PM10 is the pollutant which gave bad repute to Delhi as one of the most polluted cities in the world. Now the increasing concentration of PM 2.5 is another matter of concern. It is PM 2.5 which is of greater concern. India follows Euro IV norms for vehicles and fuels in 13 big cities while rest of the country is following Euro III or Euro II standards. What is needed is Euro VI to screen PM 2.5 from vehicular exhaust. Hydrocarbons, Nox and Ozone (O3): VOC (volatile organic compound) released from automobile exhaust in the presence of sunlight forms ozone in the air. It is next most hazardous after particulates; children growing in areas with higher Ozone level will grow up with smaller lungs says a study by Delhi’s Vallabhai Patel Chest Institute. The practice of burning post-harvest plant stubble in the agricultural fields of Punjab has received international attention with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) releasing a satellite image that resembles those taken during forest fires. The image shows large number of fires over millions of hectares of agriculture fields of Punjab. Punjab, the grain bowl of India, grows wheat and rice and produces around twothird of India's food. The smoke and dust from the fires carried by winds reach Delhi. At present, the only practical alternative to burning of paddy straw is the biomass plants installed by the Punjab Energy Development Authority (PEDA) four to five years ago. Finpro India, Dharmesh Sharan
  3. 3. Study on Air Quality and Urban Health in Delhi - Team Finland Future Watch White Paper, Aug 2013 Air Pollution effects on Health studied by Prof SK Chhabra, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute of Delhi links air pollution to Excessive cardiorespiratory mortality, Increase Hospitalizations and increase in Emergency room visits, Asthma exacerbations and Increased respiratory illness, Impaired lung function and Altered host defenses. Long-term exposure to ozone (released when vehicular exhaust is exposed to sunlight) may be associated with lung cancer and poorer lung growth with long term implication (physical performance, health status, all-cause mortality) Air Pollution Mitigation efforts by local government: Generation I reforms:    By late 1990s polluting industries were shifted outside the city limits of Delhi. On Supreme Court’s intervention, a statutory advisory body was setup in Jan 1998, to advise the court on what measures should be taken to improve the air pollution situation in Delhi. This had representation of CSE (Centre for Science and Environment) as civil society member. On the recommendations of the advice body all public transport in Delhi moved to CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) by December 2002. Euro II norms were introduced in 2000 with a cap age on commercial vehicles fixed at 15 years. Generation II reforms: the ongoing reforms can be described as 2nd generation reforms; this involves advocacy, engaging, capacity building, sensitizing, informing about new innovations.      Step I: Parking pricing to encourage use of public transport. Privatization of bus service – introducing better quality bus service. Step II: Advocacy and sensitizing public on air quality and health aspects. Step III: Involving medical professionals, industry, media and others and organizing seminars on health risks of air pollution. Air Quality Index for Delhi being designed. As a result of these efforts, the II Generation Action Plan has been sent for cabinet clearance in 2013 Future: There are immense possibilities for collaborative efforts in research and innovation, introducing better technology inputs and practices. Finpro India, Dharmesh Sharan

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