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Issue 80
, 2017
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Delhi’s air pollution puzzle

Source: Live mint, Date: , 2017

 Source: Live mint, New Delhi, Sep 5, 2017:- There were 4.24 million deaths globally in 2015 attributable to PM2.5—fine particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometer—of which the share of India’s 1.09 million deaths is 26%, according to the latest report of the World Health Organization (WHO). PM2.5 are more harmful to human health than PM10 (particles with a diameter between 2.5 and 10 micrometer) because unlike PM10—which only goes down to the lungs—PM2.5 can enter the blood supply from the lungs and turn into invisible killers. Among megacities—cities with the population of at least 14 million—Delhi has the worst air quality, according to the WHO report. Delhi witnessed widespread public protests in November 2016 after the city was engulfed in a toxic smog when the PM2.5 level rose to 999 micrograms (mg)/metre cube (m3)—16 times higher than the Indian ambient air quality standard of 60mg/m3, and 40 times higher than the WHO standard of 25mg/m3—on a 24-hour average basis.

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