I can’t see, but did someone just say smog?


The Qtab Minar just about stands out in the haze

In 2015 Delhi won the dubious award as the worst city in the world for PM2.5 pollution.  The Indian capital didn’t perform quite as (un)impressively when it came to PM10s, but still scored well (or is that badly?) enough to achieve a throat clearing 7th in the world rankings.

Wondering if there is any good news?

Well, in 2016 World Health Organization found that the air pollution in other world cities pushed Delhi down the list.  Delhi now ranks as the 11th worst city in the world (out of 3,000 cities in 103 countries) when it comes to PM2.5.  And when you’re talking about PM10s it’s the 25th worst in the world.

But before you start celebrating Delhi’s descent down the list, the news is really not that good.  Delhi’s air is bad.   Really bad.   Dilliwalahs don’t fare well at anytime of the year when it comes to the air quality, but when winter comes it’s party time for particulate matter.

So, perhaps it is worth taking some extra precautions as the colder weather sets in.  If you want to know more about air quality in real time, the US embassy publishes information to educates you on how bad things get.

And advice and guidance on taking part in various activities – and what not to d0 – when air pollution reaches certain levels can be found at super website called Delhi Air.

What’s that on your face?

Pollution masks have become increasingly popular in the past few years.

Vogmask, one firm that manufactures masks, has established a strong presence in the city with stores in Select Citywalk Mall, Saket and Khan Market, South Delhi.

The United States National Institute of Safety and Health (NIOSH) says that Vogmask meets its standards, but it is not the only mask out there.  I’m not recommending them, there just one company I’ve seen a lot of in the city.   Information on other brands can be found at http://delhiair.org/what-to-do/pollution-masks/

Another investment some people are making is procuring air filters for the home.  The Hindustan Times, a national daily, ran this article offering advice and guidance on selecting the right type of air purifier.

But there’s a bigger question

And that’s what can we all do to make a difference for one another ?

It’s not an easy question.  Using our legs a little more rather than relying on the car is a starting point.  It might only make a small difference, but lots of little differences can lead to a massive change.

Maybe, as one famous India once said, we can be the change we want to see. Let’s hope so.

3 thoughts on “I can’t see, but did someone just say smog?

  1. Pingback: 10 tips for new Delhi expats | Namaste New Delhi

  2. Pingback: Things to see and do in Delhi this week | Namaste New Delhi

  3. Pingback: Seminar on air pollution at the UChicago Centre | Namaste New Delhi

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