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Delhi air quality worsens, soaring to ‘severe’ levels

News   •   Oct 30, 2016 12:16 UTC

Festive fireworks light up the Delhi sky over temple Akshardham, but leave a legacy of air pollution.

Stockholm, Sweden, October 30, 2016 – Air quality in Delhi, the Indian capital, reached ‘severe’ levels this weekend prompting the Ministry of Earth Sciences to issue a ‘health warning of emergency conditions’ and urging residents to take immediate precautionary measures.

With levels of health-threatening PM2.5 fine particles more than 10 times the safe bench market set by WHO, India’s air quality forecasting organization SAFAR advised people in Delhi to avoid all outdoor physical activity and warned older adults and children to remain indoors until the air quality improves.

“Drastic actions to be taken by city authorities in Delhi and other major cities to curb air pollution because levels as high as those being seen in the Indian capital aggravate existing health conditions and can trigger respiratory problems, strokes and heart attack,” said Bengt Rittri, CEO of Blueair, a world leader in delivering people clean indoor air with its leading-edge air purifiers.

The soaring air pollution comes on the eve of Diwali, which Indian’s typically celebrate with multiple firework displays that exacerbate air pollution. Newspaper reports cite experts predicting that PM2.5 particle pollution will increase by 10-20 percent during Diwali.