Diwali has come and gone, but wait! Hold your breath, because air pollution levels are in the extremes. On Monday morning, Delhi registered at Hazardous, Kolkata registered at Very Unhealthy and Mumbai registered at Unhealthy levels on the air pollution index.
Effects of the fire crackers on the night of Diwali added to the bad air quality in cities like Delhi were already experiencing.
As Delhi wakes up to a new work week, pollution levels remain high. Visibility in the capital is low, and the Twitterverse is complaining about not being able to breathe.
That’s probably because the levels of PM2.5, one of the most hazardous pollutants to human health, are more than 40 times higher than the level deemed safe by experts. PM 2.5 is the particulate matter so tiny that it lodges itself deep in the lungs. Researchers have associated the particles to increased incidence of stroke, heart attack and a variety of breathing disorders. It is also linked to cancer.
But it’s not just the pollution that has been left behind by this weekend’s celebrations. It’s also the remnants of firecrackers. The streets are littered with empty firecracker cases.
And these cases are bad for the environment too. Many contain remnants of the chemicals that make fire crackers so colourful and the plastic and cardboard ends up in waterways in and around Delhi.
While Delhi had the highest pollution following Diwali, similar scenes can be found across the country.
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