Capitol of India in severe crisis

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.13 - 2023 2:18 PM CET

Air pollution reaches alarming levels

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New Delhi, India's capital city, is facing a severe air pollution crisis. According to lung specialists, breathing the toxic air on the city's streets is equivalent to smoking 25 to 30 cigarettes a day, as reported by BBC.

In response to this alarming situation, the city has decided to send children on an early winter vacation as a protective measure.

The air quality in New Delhi escalated to dangerous levels on Monday, following the annual Diwali festival celebrated on Sunday.

Despite a ban on fireworks during the festivities, many did not adhere to this prohibition. The smoke from rockets, combined with vehicle exhaust and crop burning in the surrounding areas, has drastically worsened the air quality.

As of Monday afternoon, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in New Delhi, as reported by the authorities, stood at 445, with some areas recording levels over 520.

To put this in perspective, AQI levels between 101 and 200 are considered moderate, 201 to 300 are rated as poor, 301 to 400 are very poor, and anything over 500 is categorized as severe.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the pollution levels in New Delhi are often 30 times higher than the recommended safe levels. Prolonged exposure to such high levels of air pollution can cause discomfort and respiratory problems.

In the long term, it can lead to serious health issues, including lung diseases, bronchitis, and cancer.

The decision to send children on an early winter vacation highlights the severity of the pollution crisis and the urgent need for effective measures to address this environmental and public health emergency.

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