New Delhi: Children in Delhi are at risk even indoors, owing to the poor air quality levels which are five times over the prescribed normal, revealed a study by Greenpeace India released on Thursday.
Data from the 24-hour monitoring of indoor air quality, conducted by Greenpeace over a week in seven schools across the national capital, showed that indoor air levels of PM2.5 (particulate matter of diameter less than 2.5 micrometers suspended in air) which in excess can cause harm to humans, were five times over the Indian safety limits.
These levels also amounted to as much as 11 times of that of the World Health Organisation’s safety limits, the study said.
The study highlights both the need for more comprehensive data on air quality, as well as “proactive response protocols that enable people to take adequate prevention to protect their health”, said Greenpeace India.
“Air pollution is changing what it means to be a child today,” Greenpeace India campaigner Sunil Dahiya said in the statement, adding that there is a need to close down schools and restrict outdoor activities of children to protect them from the pollution.
Vulnerable groups like children, elderly, the unwell and pregnant women are at risk from air pollution both indoors and outdoors, and the government needs to do much more to head off this public health crisis, he added.
The study also suggested that the availability of reliable, real time data through National Air Quality Index, across the country, was critical.