PM2.5 particles are often included in air quality reports. PM2.5 refers to Atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers. Particles in this category are so small that they cannot be seen by naked eye and can only be detected with a microscope. Since they are so small and light, the particles tend to stay longer in the air. This increases the chances of humans inhaling them, the particles easily bypass the nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the circulatory system.
Studies have found a close link between exposure to fine harmful particles and premature death from heart and lung disease. Fine particles are also known to trigger or worsen chronic disease such as asthma, heart attack, bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
Long-term exposure to PM2.5 may lead to plaque deposits in arteries, causing vascular inflammation and a hardening of the arteries which can eventually lead to heart attack and stroke.
The Government of India has prescribed a safe level of 40 μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre) for PM2.5 particles. On a normal day towns and cities across India have levels of PM2.5 between 300 and 500 μg/m3 which is 8 to 12 times higher than the safety norms.
Often, the air quality inside the home and office is worse than it is outside and the reason for this is the enclosed space. The Air quality in the last months of year 2019 in Delhi, NCR remained in the 'severe' category and surrounding cities with pollution levels expected to enter the "severe plus" or "emergency" category.
What is Government doing as the Pollution level increases day by day?
The Supreme Court of India court had pulled up the Centre and state governments for their inability to curb stubble-burning in Punjab and Haryana and bring air pollution in Delhi under control. However, the situation continues to remain the same and there's been hardly any improvement.