“On November 27th, one of the US Embassy’s pollution-monitoring stations in New Delhi recorded a chart-breaking reading of 999 on its custom-developed Air Quality Index. To put that in perspective, any reading above 150 is considered unhealthy, with the range 351-500 classified as ‘hazardous’ The agency’s definition of hazardous specifies: ‘Serious aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly; serious risk of respiratory effects in general population.’ The latest readings across air quality monitors such as the Indian Institute Of Tropical Meteorology-run SAFAR or the government’s central pollution control body unanimously point to the harmful and according to some commentators, enervating, air of Delhi. While it is possible to immediately blame construction, cars and industries for Delhi’s toxic air, the city’s geography has a disproportionate role to play. As a landlocked megacity, Delhi has fewer avenues for flushing polluted air out of the city. Coastal cities such as Mumbai have a shot at ‘replacing’ polluted air with relatively unpolluted sea breezes, whereas Delhi’s surrounding regions are sometimes even more polluted than the city. For example, most of the brick kilns used for making bricks are not located in the city, but in predominantly upwind surrounding industrial areas.” The Huffington Post India. Read the full story on delhiair.org.