Dramatic rise in farm fires, AQI levels may hit emergency
A total of 48,000 fire incidents were reported in Punjab last year and the number was 78,000 in 2016. “At this rate, the total count might cross last year’s numbers,” said the official, asking not to be named since he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Farm fires and emissions from firecrackers contribute heavily to concentrations of PM2.5 particles in the air, which can lead to major health problems since they can enter the bloodstream after penetrating deep into the lungs.
‘Emergency’ is the worst of five grades classifying pollution, followed in decreasing intensity by ‘severe’ and ‘very poor’.
Last year in November, a fortnight-long period when the air remained in the emergency category forced schools to be closed