Cheni, Feb 4: Air quality in the coastal city of Cheni in the past two months was consistently poor with all the samples desigted as at least ‘unhealthy’ as per US standards, an intertiol expert said on Sunday. Levels of toxic metal manganese in the air during this period averaged 55 per cent higher than they were averaged in April 2017, whereas lead levels averaged nearly three times higher in two months than they were averaged in April.
Mark Cherik, a scientist associated with the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide who studied the reports, told IANS that five of the samples in Cheni in the past two months reached a level of ‘very unhealthy’ and two of them ‘hazardous’ under the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality Index.
All of the 12 samples substantially exceeded the Indian 24-hour tiol Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM (tiny particulate matter) of 60 micrograms (Aug)/m3.
According to Cherik, the levels of PM 2.5 (a crucial indicator of dangerous pollution) in December and January averaged 165 Aug/m3, 35 per cent higher than PM 2.5 averaged in April. High levels of manganese, a neurotoxicant, excess expose causes adverse neurobehavioural health effects. It averaged 0.16 Aug/m3 in two months. The World Health Organisation prescribes an annual average standard of 15 Ig/m3.
Likewise, exposure to another neurotoxicant lead causes irreversible mental retardation in children. It averaged 0.16 Aug/m3 in the two months, exceeding the US Environmental Protection Agency’s tiol Ambient Air Quality standard for lead of 0.15 Aug/m3 on a three-month rolling basis. Cherik says the air quality in Cheni seems heavily impacted by re-suspension of dust. (IANS)