A man covers his face as he walks to work, in Delhi, India, November 7, 2017.

Delhi is choking on apocalyptic air pollution

451

The most recent air quality index reading in India’s capital are well beyond the hazardous threshold of 300 and above. In some parts of the city, readings are at 999—the maximum the tracker can measure, equivalent to smoking 45 cigarettes a day.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Saumya Khandelwal
A man covers his face as he walks to work, in Delhi, India, November 7, 2017.
451

The index measures the concentration of PM 2.5—the tiny airborne particulate matter that impairs human health—as well as hazardous chemicals like nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and ozone.

A man covers his face as he walks to work, in Delhi, India, November 7, 2017.
451

The smog that covers the Indian capital, created by cars, factories, and construction is already thicker than usual, but it will get worse in the coming weeks.

A man covers his face as he walks to work, in Delhi, India, November 7, 2017.
451

That’s when farmers in neighboring states will start burning crop debris ahead of the planting season—just in time for Delhi’s marathon on Nov. 19.

A man covers his face as he walks to work, in Delhi, India, November 7, 2017.
451

Doctors are asking for the cancellation of the Delhi marathon, saying the air would harm runners. The race would happen in the morning, when smog is the thickest.

Published

Check out more stories below—and please take a quick three-minute survey to help us improve.

Share this story

home our picks popular latest obsessions search