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Fears of Health Crisis as Delhi Suffers Worst Air Pollution This Year
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=81"><span class="small">Reuters</span></a>   
Monday, 24 December 2018 09:24

Excerpt: "Pollution in Delhi has reached its worst level this year in the past two days, prompting authorities to rate conditions as 'severe to emergency,' which indicates the potential for a public health crisis."

Officials said the increase in smog was caused by unusually cold air, fog and a lack of wind in Delhi. (photo: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)
Officials said the increase in smog was caused by unusually cold air, fog and a lack of wind in Delhi. (photo: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)


Fears of Health Crisis as Delhi Suffers Worst Air Pollution This Year

By Reuters

24 December 18


Authorities in Indian capital rate conditions as ‘severe to emergency’

ollution in Delhi has reached its worst level this year in the past two days, prompting authorities to rate conditions as “severe to emergency”, which indicates the potential for a public health crisis.

Senior government officials said the main reasons for the increase in smog were unusually cold air, fog and a lack of wind.

Such conditions trap vehicle fumes and pollution from coal-fired power plants, industry and domestic fires over the city.

Data from the government’s Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed the air quality index, which measures the concentration of poisonous particulate matter, was an average of 449 on Monday, only slightly better than 450 on Sunday.

The index measures the concentration of PM 2.5, particles that can be carried deep into the lungs. The previous highest recording this year was 447 on 15 June, when there was a dust storm. Anything above 100 is considered unhealthy.

India’s weather department said the index reached 654 in some parts of the city, and visibility was down to as little as 200 metres.

Environmentalists said the authorities’ inaction was inexcusable and a concerted effort was needed to reduce pollution from vehicles and industry.

“If this is not an emergency, then what is?” asked the Delhi-based environmentalist Vimlendu Jha.

The “severe to emergency” rating means the air is not only hazardous for citizens with existing respiratory problems but can also seriously affect healthy people.

Conditions are likely to remain severe on Christmas Day, when CPCB data suggests the PM 2.5 level may average above 400 and reach a high of 534 in some places.

CPCB announced measures such as shutting factories and construction sites in heavily polluted areas until Wednesday, along with advising people to avoid using diesel-powered vehicles.

Steps this year have failed to make much difference and instead there has been finger-pointing between Narendra Modi’s administration, the city government and state authorities around the capital.

The public’s apparent lack of concern about air quality gives federal and local politicians the cover they need for failing to address the problem, according to pollution activists and social scientists.

India’s toxic air killed 1.24 million people in 2017, said a study published in Lancet Planetary Health this month.

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+1 # DongiC 2018-12-25 03:02
The human species teeters on the brink of ecological disaster. Mother Nature speaks in ever more threatening tones. Still the people in India do not listen. What a mandate they face. Change or perish.
 
 
0 # Texas Aggie 2018-12-26 12:44
Well, some will perish but not those who are supposed to be in control. Somehow this is reminiscent of the "pro-life" program of population control. Set up a situation where the poverty stricken die.