Diwali or Deepavali, which marks the Hindu new year and is celebrated with a riot of fireworks and firecrackers across the country.
In some areas, such as the Pitampura suburb of north Delhi, PM2.5 levels increased to 1,238 compared with 435 the same day of the festival a year earlier. The World Health Organization recommends that PM2.5 is kept below 10 as an annual average. It says exposure to average annual concentrations of PM2.5 of 35 or above is associated with a 15% higher long-term mortality risk. PM2.5, tiny particles suspended in the air that can lodge into lungs and cause diseases, jumped to dangerous levels in the Indian capital on Sunday, according to data measured by the board’s air-quality stations in the city.
So let’s take a look……
1. BBC reported that the PM10 particulates (considered very harmful to health) rose to 2,000 microns per cubic meter in Delhi, reaching 40 times the limit recommended by the World Health Organization
2. The quality of air worsens due to the high concentration of PM2.5—particulate matters less than 2.5 microns—that can enter the respiratory passage and cause irritation or shortness of breath
3. According to experts, the noise from crackers—with decibel levels in excess of 90—can cause nervous breakdown or loss of hearing
4. The rise in pollution levels cause shortness of breath, a burning sensation in the eyes and rashes
5. Burnt-out crackers and the piles of paper left behind after Diwali add to the existing problem of garbage disposal in the country
6. As Diwali falls during winter, gases released from firecrackers get trapped in mist, thereby increasing the effects of pollution
7. In 2015, the air quality deteriorated across eight Indian states on Diwali night, according to the Central Pollution Control Board’s National Air Quality Index. 20 of the 26 air quality monitoring stations recorded extreme pollution on the same night