Air pol­lu­tion sky­rock­ets to haz­ardous lev­els in In­dia

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - TOP STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD -

(C) 2018, THE WASH­ING­TON POST · MATTHEW CAPPUCCI NOV 08, 2018 - Toxic clouds de­scended upon New Delhi on Thurs­day, forc­ing res­i­dents in­doors and pos­ing sig­nif­i­cant health con­cerns. The lethal smog came just hours af­ter cel­e­bra­tions to mark Di­wali, the Hindu “fes­ti­val of the lights.”

Com­mem­o­rat­ing the tri­umph of good over evil, the hol­i­day hap­pens ev­ery fall but this year the at­mos­phere threw a wrench in the plan. The city of over 18 mil­lion awoke Thurs­day morn­ing to a shroud of haz­ardous haze, spurred by con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity and ve­hi­cle emis­sions and ex­ac­er­bated by fire­works det­o­nated the night be­fore.

The air pol­lu­tion soared to 20 times safe lev­els. In­dia is in­fa­mous for its pol­lu­tion, ri­val­ing China as the great­est pol­luter of green­house gases and par­tic­u­late mat­ter by gross do­mes­tic prod­uct. A 2015 study warned that nearly half of all New Delhi schoolchil­dren would de­velop ir­re­versible lung dam­age be­fore reach­ing adult­hood.

This lat­est pol­lu­tion episode comes ten days af­ter the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion re­leased a re­port con­clud­ing that 93 per­cent of chil­dren world­wide breathe toxic air daily.

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