With no improvement in the air quality, Delhi-NCR continued to breathe toxins for the third consecutive day, as major pollutants across all monitoring stations in the region crossed "severe" level on Thursday.
The data collected from the central government's System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (Safar) showed that the PM2.5 and PM10 (particles with diameter less than 2.5 and 10mm) were beyond "severe", which stood at more than 500 units.
The safe limit for PM2.5 is 60 micrograms per cubic meter according to the national standards, and 25 micrograms per cubic meter as per the international standards.
The regions sharing common beyond "severe" range for PM2.5 and PM10 includes all the ten monitoring stations of Safar -- Dhirpur, Pitampura and Delhi University (North Campus) in north Delhi; Pusa and Lodhi Road in Central Delhi; Ayanagar and Mathura Road in South Delhi, Indira Gandhi International Airport; Noida in Uttar Pradesh and Gurugram in Haryana.
According to Safar, both PM2.5 and PM10 are expected to be "severe-plus" on Friday as well.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data, showed the average Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi at 491 -- close to "severe-plus", while the average PM2.5 of 13 active monitoring stations was 490 units by 10 am.
The average AQI of Delhi and NCR was 481, while the average PM2.5 of 18 active monitoring stations was 480 units.
The pollution level in the capital will affect everyone. Hence, people are advised to avoid all physical activity outdoors and to consult a doctor in case of any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty, or fatigue, Safar said.