Cutting cars by half reduces exposure to toxic emissions: CSE

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New Delhi, Jan 1 (IANS) Pollution in the national capital this winter was “worse” than last year and reducing cars by half through odd-even restrictions can decrease exposure to toxic emissions by several times, says a Centre for Science and Environment study.

“Delhi Pollution Control Committee data shows this winter pollution levels have worsened compared to last year. This justifies emergency action like the odd and even system that Delhi should pilot successfully to reduce toxic exposure during smog episodes,” the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said in a statement.

The CSE said in its analysis if with public support, half of the cars are off the road, the total toxic load of particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides can also be halved from the car segment.

The car pool strategy will reduce the per capita emissions by four times from the same car, it added.

The CSE’s analysis also said that another study by the scientists of University of California, Berkeley, has shown that in Delhi, people’s exposure to vehicle exhaust is three to four times higher than the world average.

The research body said the last two months have had higher number of days with “severe” level of air pollution, as against that of the last year.

November 2015 had 73 percent of days in “severe” category of air pollution, as against 53 percent in November last year, CSE said.

“If globally smog episode is defined as three consecutive days in the worst category of Air Quality Index, then the 2015 winter has already witnessed 11 such smog episodes,” the statement said.

Such high level of pollution this year is a “compelling” reason for Delhi to pilot even-odd system and closure of Badarpur plant, it added.

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