Public health emergency declare by doctors in Delhi. As air quality in the capital city plung to levels rise to smoking at least 50 cigarettes in a single day.
Slow winds and colder temperatures blame for a surge in airborne pollutants beyond. What instruments in the city could measure with some recording an Air Quality Index (AQI) maximum of 999.
Indian Medical Association said the country’s capital suffering a health emergency. And call for an upcoming half-marathon to be cancel to avoid “disastrous health consequences”.
Residents alert to avoid leaving their homes as smog envelop streets and landmarks on Tuesday. It sparking road, rail and airport delays and renew calls for Indian state and federal governments to act.
Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, inform the city was a “gas chamber” as his government met on Tuesday afternoon to consider a response to the crisis. Primary schools, already asked to keep students indoors, will be shut on Wednesday and possibly longer if the poor conditions persist.
Most dangerous to health are concentrations of fine pollutants smaller than 2.5 micro meters. Tiny enough to evade the body’s natural filters and permeate the blood brain barrier.
Traffic Bridge in Delhi with Smog
Tests by Greenpeace have shown these fine pollutants call PM2.5. It can include carcinogenic chemicals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium and mercury. Levels of PM2.5 in Delhi on Tuesday. It reaches 710 micrograms per cubic meter, more than 11 times the World Health Organisation’s safe limit.
“It has terrible effects on every part of your body,” said Dr Arvind Kumar, the chest surgery chairman at Sir Ganga Ram hospital. Who compare the 999 AQI level record in the RK Puram area to smoking 50 cigarettes in a day. “ICUs are full of pneumonia patients. Lots of my patients are coming with coughs today. They are breathless.
“It can precipitate an acute asthma attack and in the long run it will increase their risk of lung cancer”.
Such as the city’s fleet of rickshaw pullers are hardest hit. Vikas Yadav, an immigrant from Bihar state inform he use to welcome the colder months when the threat from disease-carrying mosquitoes subsides.
My eyes get a burning sensation”. He tell “I fell sick last year. I don’t know whether it was from the air. But I felt breathless and my eyes were itching. Doctors update me not to work early morning during winters.”
Smog was unsparing of Delhi’s wealthier set and its community of expatriate workers, many of whom gathered on Tuesday morning on the lawns of the Australian high commission. They gather for an annual champagne breakfast to celebrate the Melbourne Cup horse race.
A lady Doing Yoga in early Morning in Delhi
“It was like being in Europe in the middle of winter on a misty morning,”by one traveler. Elizabeth Pennell, a lawyer for an international fund.
The crowd pair their race day dresses. And suits with pollution masks but Pennell tell the foul air failed to dampen the mood. “You tuck up your children inside where the air is purify. And for these few hours you risk your health to let your hair down”.
“And then you can go back and lock yourself inside your apartment and breathe clean air – unlike most Indians.”
Delhi’s air quality is extremely poor for most of the year due to road dust, open fires, vehicle exhaust fumes. Industrial emissions and the burning of crop residues in neighboring states.
But conditions become bad in winter months when slow winds and cool temperatures trap pollutants closer to the ground.
Various methods try to clear the atmosphere including shutting down a local coal-fired power station. Traffic rationing and banning firecrackers during Diwali, the annual Hindu festival.
Though Delhi gets most attention, toxic air afflicts the entire north Indian plain, including parts of Pakistan. A study last year found the holy city of Varanasi had among the worst air in the country. Airtel, the leading sponsor of the upcoming Delhi half-marathon, urged the city government to ensure the safety of runners, indicating that it may pull out of the event next year.
“Air pollution poses serious health risks and it is important that these concerns are addressed urgently and appropriately by the authorities for Airtel to continue associating with the event next year and beyond,” it said in a statement.
Research publish in the Lancet last month found about 2.5 million Indians die each year from pollution. This is the highest number in the world. High levels of pollution this time last year forced schools to shut as authorities scrambled to contain the crisis.
The World Health Organisation in 2014 class Delhi as the world’s most polluted capital. With air quality levels worse than Beijing. A 2015 study show about half the Indian capital’s 4.4 million schoolchildren.