Delhi Air Quality Deteriorates to “ Hazardous” after Diwali Celebration, posing serious health risks.

Following the Diwali festival, the air quality in the national capital has deteriorated from “severe” last night to “hazardous” this morning.

The city’s air quality index, which was at 382 at 4 p.m. yesterday, continued to rise and into the severe zone about 8 p.m., as low temperatures and wind speeds permitted pollutants to build.

On Friday morning, PM 2.5 concentrations in the city’s Jawaharlal Nehru stadium reached 999 per cubic meter, well beyond the WHO’s recommended safe level of 25.

PM2.5 in the air can cause heart and lung problems, including lung cancer.

New Delhi has the worst air quality in the world when compared to other capitals, but even by those low standards, it is a disaster. The reading on Friday was especially awful, as people paid the price for celebrating India’s largest festival in the noisiest, smokiest way possible.

Despite the Delhi government’s prohibition on all firecrackers, even green ones, numerous persons were observed bursting crackers, leading to air pollution.

As a layer of haze persisted over the region, residents from various parts of the city and its suburbs complained of itchy throats and watery eyes. This was the first episode of the season.

Despite the blanket ban in the national capital till January 1, 2022, residents of Lajpat Nagar in South Delhi, Burari in North Delhi, Paschim Vihar in West Delhi, and Shahdara in East Delhi reported firecrackers popping as early as 7 p.m.

The air quality in the neighboring cities of Faridabad (424), Ghaziabad (442), Gurgaon (423), and Noida (431) was also rated as severe,’ with cracker bursting peaking after 9 p.m.

The 24-hour average PM2.5 concentration in Delhi-NCR jumped from 243 micrograms per cubic meter at 6 p.m. to 263 micrograms per cubic meter at 9 p.m., more than four times the recommended limit of 60 micrograms per cubic metre, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) for the national capital was 382 on November 4, up from 314 on November 3. On November 2nd, it was 303, and on November 1st, it was 281.

With the wind direction turning northwesterly, the stubble burning share may grow to 35 percent on Friday and 40 percent on Saturday, according to SAFAR model estimates.

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