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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Air pollution in New Delhi hits hazardous levels

On Tuesday, the readings of the government's air quality index hovered between 350 and 450, indicating that the health impact of breathing the air was 'severe'. The highest reading on the Central Pollution Control Board's index is 500

Indian presidential staff members, surrounded by smog, walk through the grounds of the presidential palace in New Delhi on November 7, 2017. Manish Swarup / AP
Indian presidential staff members, surrounded by smog, walk through the grounds of the presidential palace in New Delhi on November 7, 2017. Manish Swarup / AP

Air pollution in India's capital has hit hazardous levels, prompting local officials to ask that schools shut down and a half marathon scheduled later in November be called off.

On Tuesday, the readings of the government's air quality index hovered between 350 and 450, indicating that the health impact of breathing the air was "severe." The highest reading on the Central Pollution Control Board's index is 500.

As winter approaches, a thick, soupy smog routinely envelops most parts of northern India, caused by dust, the burning of crops, emissions from factories and the burning of coal and piles of garbage as the poor try to keep warm.

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Read more:

Autumn still brings the choking smoke of burning crops to Delhi

Diwali fireworks send New Delhi pollution levels 18 times over healthy limit

Pollution responsible for nine million deaths in 2015, study finds

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