New Delhi, January 17
Air quality tests done in Delhi and Gurgaon in the last two months showed presence of alarming levels of toxic heavy metals, according to a new report released Thursday.
The report, titled 'Death in Every Breath', released by NGO Lung Care Foundation, analysed results of seven air quality tests taken in New Delhi and Gurgaon.
The PM2.5 levels - fine particulate matters in the air with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers - in all the seven tests were above statutory limits, the report said.
The levels of manganese in five of the seven tests exceed the US EPA Reference Concentration for exposure to manganese (0.05 ug/m3) and the World Health Organisation annual health-based guidelines value of 0.15 ug/m3.
"Levels of lead in six of the seven tests exceed the US EPA 3-month average for exposure to lead (0.15 ug/m3) and in two tests exceeds the Indian NAAQS Annual and the WHO annual health-based guidelines value of 0.05 ug/m3," it said.
Nickel levels in all the tests exceed the WHO annual health-based guidelines value of 0.0025 ug/m3, which is based on the risk of cancer associated with long-term exposure to nickel.
"Manganese, lead and nickel are neurotoxins that damage the brain. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead. Exposures to even low levels of lead early in life have been linked to effects on IQ, learning, memory and behaviour," said Arvind Kumar of Lung Care Foundation.
The report also found high levels of barium from Diwali fireworks. — PTI
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