Raipur’s air quality deteriorating, indicates latest findings

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Raipur’s air quality deteriorating, indicates latest findings

Friday, 05 April 2019 | K.N. KISHORE | RAIPUR

Levels of iron, zinc, lead, nickel and manganese were found several times higher at Raipur, indicating that the city’s overall air quality is poor, says a report released on Thursday for open discussion at State Institute of Health and Family Welfare (SIHFW).

According to director SHRC, Chhattisgarh, Dr Prabir Chatterjee, “A study conducted from December 2018 to January 2019 to understand the air pollution level of Raipur city on a particular day. Five air samples were taken at Kalibadi, Amlidih, Urla, Birgaon and Tatibandh. The samples were taken at residential buildings, office building and open balcony of a hospital.”

“All the samples were sent to Chester LabNet, Oregon, the USA for testing the heavy metals present in the air,” he said. “There is a clear indication that emissions from iron and steel manufacturing facilities in Raipur and Bhilai are a predominant cause of poor air quality. The exclusive cause of levels of manganese poses serious risk to the neurobehavioral health of residents of both locations,” states report of Dr Mark Chernaik, staff scientist at Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW), US, who reviewed the air  samples.

Raipur is a hub of mining and steel industries. In 2014, the World Health Organisation in its report declared its seventh most polluted city in the world with the concentration of suspended particulate matter PM10 level was 250 ug/m3. The city, however, improved its performance drastically reducing the PM 10 level to100 ug/m3 in 2017, according to the Central Pollution Control Board.

The latest finding once again pointed out that the city’s air quality once again deteriorating.

In his report Dr Mark points out, “Comparing a typical urban location of Wilmington, US which had PM2.5 averaged 19.5µg/m3 and levels of iron, zinc averaged 0.11, 0.013, and 0.004µg/m3, respectively. The levels of PM2.5 in Raipur averaged 14.9 times levels of PM2.5 in Wilmington while levels of iron, zinc and manganese averaged 118.4, 924 and 92.4 times. It is noticeable that the lowest levels of iron, zinc and manganese occurred in the sample of Amlidih, furthest away from clusters of iron and steel manufacturing facilities.” “As matter of public health, especially to prevent impairment of neurobehavioral function caused by    exposure to manganese in ambient air, authorities should urgently institute measures to abate air pollution emissions from iron and steel manufacturing facilities in Raipur,”  recommends, Dr Mark.

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