Nanoparticles in Delhi's Air Can Pose Health Risks beyond Respiratory System

  • 05 Oct 2023

A recent study indicates that nanoparticles present in Delhi's air, primarily originating from vehicular emissions, have the potential to travel from the respiratory system to other parts of the human body, potentially causing both chronic and acute illnesses.

Key Points

  • Study Overview: In 2021, researchers conducted an analysis of nanoparticles in Delhi, focusing on two periods: April to June and October to November. These "very small particles" can have natural or human-made origins.
  • Urban Road Emissions: Nanoparticles in urban areas are predominantly emitted from the combustion processes in vehicles, with concentrations varying based on human activities, especially vehicular emissions.
  • Nanoparticle Penetration: The study highlights that nanoparticles in road environments can penetrate deeper into the respiratory system than other pollutants.
  • Ultrafine Particle Impact: In urban settings, ultrafine particles ranging from 1 to 100 nanometres can contribute up to 90% of the total particle number concentration.
  • Meteorological Factors: The concentration of these particles can be influenced by factors such as relative humidity, vehicular emissions during peak morning and evening hours, and higher wind speeds leading to particle dispersion.
  • Human Health Impact: The study suggests that the particle number concentration estimates can be used to assess particle deposition in the human respiratory system, potentially leading to health issues in various parts of the body.
  • Policy Development: This data can be valuable for policymaking, setting standards, initiating pollution mitigation measures, addressing climate change concerns, and promoting sustainability.