Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 2.09.44 PMThe fireworks have fizzled. The festival lights are coming down. What’s left of the Hindu holiday of Diwali in the Indian capital — already considered the world’s most polluted — is a toxic haze that has residents gagging for oxygen and hiding indoors. Air pollution levels across New Delhi on Thursday, a day after the ancient festival of lights, were described as severe-to-critical, up to eight times higher than what India deems acceptable and 20 times what’s recommended by the World Health Organization. …The Center for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based research and advocacy group, said its exposure monitoring on Diwali night found pollution levels were slightly lower than in previous years, but still unacceptably high. Between 8 p.m. and midnight, PM2.5 levels were at 399-608 micrograms per cubic meter in some places — well above the Indian limit of 60 and the WHO recommendation of 25. At some points, spikes in pollution were “frightening,” hitting more than 2,500, it said.” Business Insider (AP). Read it on

Alarm over pollution in Delhi dampens Diwali fireworks boom