green peace IndiaNew Delhi, Oct. 26. 2015: Representatives from Green Peace India visited Apeejay School, Pitampura. They conducted an interactive session for students of the Eco Club and discussed about the growing problems of air pollution, to sensitise students about the quality of air that we inhale, how it affects our respiratory system and how the Government could step in to alert and caution people about the harmful effects the polluted air can have on us.

The following sensitive facts were highlighted:

According to the World Health Organisation, Delhi is the most polluted city in the world and this has resulted in lung damage for a majority of people causing about a million deaths every year.

Our respiratory tract cannot filter or block the pollutants of PM2.5, nor can these be seen by our eyes and hence these pollutants enter our lungs and cause damage. A recent study carried out by them on toxicity of exhaust gas emitted out by motor vehicles in Delhi, had innumerable air pollutants of this size which we inhale unknowingly almost every time we step out of our homes.

They reported the fact that whenever we use deodorant sprays or mosquito repellent sprays, they increase the concentration of this particulate matter by about 4000, whereas the safety limit for such pollutants is only 60! These pollutants cause allergies like coughing, sneezing, etc. To prevent the effects of such sprays, they advised that whenever we use such sprays we should either cover our nose and mouth or leave the room, in case of mosquito repellents, as these air particles settle down after 5-10 mins and do not harm us. They told that smoking increases the concentration of such particles by more than 4000 which is obviously harmful to the smokers but even more harmful to non-smokers who act as passive smokers and inhale 90% of this toxic air.

They had set up an apparatus in the School which calculated the concentration of this particulate matter and it was observed that the concentration in the School was only about 78 while they reported that in other schools it had reached about 150 and more.

They informed about the National Air Quality Index (NAQI) introduced by the Government. It is actually a colour coded system to measure the levels of various air pollutants. Under this scheme, Delhi has 10 monitoring stations out of which only 5 are efficiently working.

The NAQI should take up the responsibility to supply common people with information about the amount of pollution outside and the quality of air and what preventive measures we could take to save ourselves from air pollution. They encouraged us to join Clean Air Nation and sign the online petition to call on the Government to improve monitoring of air quality.

This session proved to be an eye opener for many and inspired everyone to work towards a cleaner & greener India.