Air quality did worsen during Deepavali: CPCB

Air quality did worsen during Deepavali: CPCB

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on Friday told the Supreme Court that the air quality in Delhi and National Capital Region did worsen during Deepavali despite ban on sale of firecrackers.

It, however, maintained the deterioration was "not significant statistically". A long-term study would be required to assess the long-term health impacts of bursting firecrackers, it said.

The short-term study was conducted by experts at MAMC Delhi entrusted by the CPCB at the time when the sale of firecrackers was banned in Delhi-NCR by the top court from October 9.

It said that both PM (particulate matter) 10 and PM 2.5 increased 2-3.5 fold on Deepavali day in comparison to seven days before the festival, resulting in symptoms of eye-itching, increased coughing, relatively more hospital visits and increased noise levels. High metals in urine reflect adverse impact of firecracker bursting, it pointed out.

The top pollution monitoring body told a bench comprising justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan that in pursuance of the apex court order of September 12 last year, a study titled 'Health Impact Assessment of Firecrackers Bursting during Dussehra and Diwali' was carried out.

The top court had last year constituted a committee, to be chaired by the chairperson of the CPCB, to conduct a research on the impact of firecrackers during festive season on the health of people and submit a report by December 31.

The report stated that on Deepavali, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide levels remained almost within prescribed limits.

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