Delhi's air quality index took a hit on Friday as the levels of particulate matter shot up. The air quality before the festival of Dussehra was in "satisfactory" and "moderate" category. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), late monsoon is also a contributor to the low air quality.
According to AQI, index between 0 and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe". Major pollutants PM 2.5 stood at 185 in the 'moderate' category and PM 10 at 201 in the 'poor' category in New Delhi's Lodhi Road area. Smog was also seen blanketing the sky, thereby resulting in decreased visibility.
The Air quality index of Delhi is generally Moderate (101-200) level between January to September, and then it drastically deteriorates to Very Poor (301-400), Severe (401-500) or Hazardous (500+) levels in three months between October to December, due to various factors including stubble burning, firecrackers burning during Diwali and cold weather.
The air quality in Delhi, the capital of India, according to a WHO survey of 1600 world cities, is the worst of any major city in the world. Air pollution in India is estimated to kill 1.5 million people every year; it is the fifth-largest killer in India. India has the world's highest death rate from chronic respiratory diseases and asthma, according to the WHO. In 2018 also, Delhi's turned 'severe', the worst category in six-level Air Quality Index (AQI) assessed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). 2.2 million children in Delhi have irreversible lung damage due to the poor quality of the air. In addition, research shows that pollution can lower children's immune system and increase the risks of cancer and other diseases.
(With ANI inputs)