Effects of Air Pollution in Delhi

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Air is the ocean we breathe. Air supplies us with oxygen which is essential for our bodies to live. Air is 99.9% nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and inert gases. Human activities can release substances into the air, some of which can cause problems for humans, plants, and animals.

There are several main types of pollution and well-known effects of pollution which are commonly discussed. These include smog, acid rain, the greenhouse effect, and "holes" in the ozone layer. Each of these problems has serious implications for our health and well-being as well as for the whole environment.

One type of air pollution is the release of particles into the air from burning fuel for energy. Diesel smoke is a good example of this particulate matter. The particles are very small pieces of matter measuring about 2.5 microns or about .0001 inches. This type of pollution is sometimes referred to as "black carbon" pollution. The exhaust from burning fuels in automobiles, homes, and industries is a major source of pollution in the air. Some authorities believe that even the burning of wood and charcoal in fireplaces and barbeques can release significant quantities of soot into the air.

Another type of pollution is the release of noxious gases, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and chemical vapors. These can take part in further chemical reactions once they are in the atmosphere, forming smog and acid rain.

The freshness of the air in one's environment has a direct impact on the quality and length of one's life. Air is more of a necessity of life than food or water. Imagine you live in a city where a grey-brown noxious haze of smog permeates the streets in your district. Imagine that these streets are filled with jam-packed traffic, a slow moving assembly of automobiles which blow out unhealthy exhaust fumes of carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals. You cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief to avoid excess exposure to dust and chemical particulates in the air. The air is not pleasant to inhale in deeply, and it gives you breathing trouble, making you co ugh and wheeze. In addition, your eyes water, your nose runs, and you have headaches and irritated eyes regularly when you are outdoors. As you walk on a street in this particular city on a weekday afternoon, a jogger passes by you wearing a face mask, and you observe children playing in a nearby school, inside a giant glass bubble to shield them from the city air. This circumstance is faced by many people living in metropolises of the world like Los Angeles and Mexico City. But the situation back home is no better.

Air Pollution in India

Industrialization and urbanization have resulted in a deterioration of India's air quality. India has more than 20 cities with populations of at least 1 million, and some of them--including New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata--are among the world's most polluted. Urban air quality ranks among the world's worst. Of the 3 million premature deaths in the world that occur each year due to outdoor and indoor air pollution, the highest number are assessed to occur in India. Sources of air pollution, India's most severe environmental problem, come in several forms, including vehicular emissions and untreated industrial smoke. Continued urbanization has exacerbated the problem of rapid industrialization, as more and more people are adversely affected and cities are unable to implement adequate pollution control mechanisms.


In Delhi today pollution is one of the most critical problems facing the public and concerned authorities. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Delhi is the fourth most polluted city in the world in terms of Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM). The growing pollution is responsible for increasing health problems. The deteriorating environment is the result of population pressure and haphazard growth. Industrial development has been haphazard and...
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