Sensitive people have been advised to be mindful of the unhealthy air quality engulfed in the Colombo area today, National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) Air Quality Unit Senior Scientist H.D.S. Premasiri said.
According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, when Air Quality Index (AQI) values are between 101 and 150, members of sensitive groups might experience health effects, but the general public was unlikely to be affected.
“People with heart or lung disease, children, older adults, and people who are active outdoors are considered sensitive and therefore at greater risk," it states.
"Everyone may begin to experience health effects when AQI values are between 151 and 200 and members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects in such a situation," it added.
“The same condition was experienced yesterday as well and according to data on Airvisual.com, Colombo might experience a condition of another unhealthy air quality situation on November 16 as well,” Mr Premasiri said.
Airvisual.com. indicated air quality with 165 and 128 Air Quality Index (AQI) at 8.30am and 9.30am respectively today.
He said this unhealthy condition was due to the weather patterns and added the prevailing condition would eventually decline but might be experienced afterwards as well.
“Vehicle emissions and other gaseous emissions released by others, do not move up and away but remain at ground level due to the prevailing low pressure resulting in air stagnation conditions,” he said.
He said Colombo city had been the worst affected area due to a hike in the Air Quality Index (AQI).
This was first recorded by the US Embassy’s air quality monitor in Colombo, which said there could be a rise in AQI on November 5 and 6.
The US Embassy's Air Quality Monitor in Colombo indicated unhealthy values of air quality with 167 Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded by 10 pm November 5. (Sheain Fernandopulle)