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Diwali leaves Delhi wheezing in dangerously unhealthy air.Toxic smog swallows the capital

The morning after the Hindu festival of light, Diwali, residents of New Delhi woke up under a toxic smog blanket and breathed in the most dangerous polluted air ever.

New Delhi has the worst air quality of any of the world’s capitals, but even by unfortunate standards people have paid the price to celebrate India’s largest festival in the loudest and most smoky way. So reading on Friday was very bad.

According to the guidance of the Federal Pollution Control Board, the Air Quality Index (AQI) surged to 451 on a scale of 500. This represents a “serious” condition that affects healthy people and seriously affects people with existing illnesses.

AQI measures the concentration of toxic particulate matter PM2.5 in 1 cubic meter of air. In Delhi, a city with a population of about 20 million, PM2.5 measurements on Friday averaged 706 micrograms, but the World Health Organization considers anything above an average of 5 micrograms per year to be unsafe.

Aerial PM2.5 can cause cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses such as lung cancer. And in India, toxic air kills more than a million people each year.

“The firecracker ban did not seem to be successful in Delhi, which resulted in dangerous pollution levels in addition to existing perennial sources,” said Sunil Dahiya, an analyst at the Energy and Clean Air Research Center (CREA). Said.

Each year, either government officials or the Supreme Court of India ban firecrackers. However, the ban rarely appears to be enforced.

To make matters worse, Diwali is the time for farmers in neighboring Punjab and Haryana in Delhi to burn the stubble left over after harvest and prepare the fields for the next crop.

Stubble fires accounted for up to 35% of PM2.5 levels in New Delhi, according to data from SAFAR’s surveillance system belonging to the Federal Ministry of Earth Sciences.

The unusual sunny days of October with intermittent rain and wind helped the Delhis breathe the cleanest air in at least four years.

However, during the winter, when temperatures drop and wind speeds drop, pollutants tend to be trapped in the air for longer, resulting in spikes in pollution levels in northern India.

Ambrish Mithal, a doctor at Max Health Care Hospital in New Delhi, was fed up with the lack of commitment to make the capital more livable and resolved his dissatisfaction with the worsening AQI measurements.

“It’s terrible for people with allergies and asthma. We’re destined to continue fighting for reasons and suffering,” he posted on Twitter.

The Government of India is often accused of not doing enough to control pollution as it prioritizes economic growth to raise the standard of living in the world’s second most populous country. ..

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow that India would achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070, but some experts believe the goal is at least 20 years too late. rice field.

Diwali leaves Delhi wheezing in dangerously unhealthy air.Toxic smog swallows the capital

Source link Diwali leaves Delhi wheezing in dangerously unhealthy air.Toxic smog swallows the capital

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