New Delhi, Feb 2: Just ahead of US President Barack Obama's India visit, the US embassy in New Delhi purchased over 1800 air purifiers to protect its employees from national capital's increasing pollution.
The portable purifiers were supplied by the Blueair company.
According to report in Indian Express, the US Embassy regularly monitors air quality around its buildings and issues daily updates on the air pollution. The report said it was so concerned about the high levels of pollutants in the air that it ordered a large number of indoor air purifiers.
During Obama's visit to the national capital, the Air Quality Index recorded a reading of 222.
In December, the US embassy's website calculated Delhi's air quality index (AQI) 260. The index is a measure of air quality on a progressively deteriorating scale of 0 to 500, based on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the air.
The US embassy releases hourly AQI figures. Readings in the range of 201-300 are termed 'very unhealthy' as per US health standards.
Air quality in the national capital deteriorated alarmingly. The Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM), which directly affects breathing, had gone up by five times from the national ambiance air quality standard.