SYLLABUS SECTION: GS III (ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY)
WHY IN THE NEWS?
In recent months, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified SURGING OZONE Levels as a prominent pollutant in Delhi.
DELHI POLLUTION CONTROL COMMITTEE (DPCC) DATA:
- According to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards Data from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) indicates that ozone levels were well above the 8-hour standard of 100 µg/m3 and hourlystandardof180µg/m3.
- The geographical spread of ground-level ozone pollution in NCR in the last two months, this year was the highest in the past four years.
- VOCs can be control through better fuel efficiency.
- Ozone is a secondary pollutant | Surging Ozone Levels.
- It forms due to atmospheric reactions among nitrogen oxides (volatile organic compounds) in the presence of sunlight.
- Nitrogen oxides are emit from vehicles. The VOCs energize nitrogen oxides in presence of sunlight to convert into ozone.
- Ozone is not directly emitting from any source.
- The gases that come from vehicles, industries, and power plants… particularly nitrogen oxides and VOCs, under the influence of sunlight and temperature react to form ozone.
- Nitrogen oxide acts as a catalyst and vehicles contribute the maximum to nitrogen oxide emissions
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Volatile organic compounds are compounds that have high vapor pressure and low water solubility.
- (VOCs) are emitt as gases from certain solids or liquids.
- VOCs are also present because of unburnt hydrocarbons.
- Sources of Emission:
VOCs are emitt by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands, such as :
- paints and lacquers,
- paint strippers,
- cleaning supplies,
- building materials and furnishings,
- office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids, carbonless copy paper, graphics
- craft materials including glues and adhesives,
- permanent markers
- photographic solutions.
NATIONAL AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARDS
- The NAAQS set by the Central Pollution Control Board is applicable to the whole country.
- The CPCB draws this power from the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
- These standards are essential for the development of effective management of ambient air quality.
- Compliance with the NAAQS is monitored under the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP). NAMP is implemented by the CPCB.
- The current standards (2009) comprise 12 pollutants as follows:
- Particulate Matter 10 (PM10)
- Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5)
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2)
- Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)
- Carbon Monoxide (CO)
- Ozone (O3)
- Ammonia (NH3)
- Lead (Pb)
- The NAAQS was more technical in nature and was not easy for the common man to comprehend.
- For understanding the making air quality levels more understandable to the general public. Air Quality Index was formulated.
- It was launched in 2014 to measure air quality and rate it in six categories (ranging from good to severe).
- AQI covers 8 major pollutants, they are all the NAAQS pollutants except benzene, benzopyrene, arsenic, and nickel.
Read more: UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS
Source: Indian Express