Delhi’s Air Pollution Breaks US Monitoring Station

With the odd-even number plate scheme in full swing and in its third working day, Delhi’s air pollution remains stubbornly high with no sign of abating.

The pollution has been so bad today (6th January, 2016), that it’s broken the US air monitoring station at the US Consulate in New Delhi!


The air quality index reports on a scale up to 500. At 10am today, the index reported a number of 530. There was also a PM2.5 concentration of 545.9 µg/m³. That’s an all time high and 21 times what the European health authorities consider to be safe.

Recently, the Milan and Rome city administration decided to temporarily ban cars after the concentration of PM2.5 particles exceeded 25 µg/m³.

The New Delhi government isn’t being helped by the weather right now. Weather fronts mean there’s no rain to bring down the pollution in the air and there’s little wind to disperse it.

However, with nine more days left of this odd-even number plate experiment the government might need to explore alternative means of reducing air pollution. This includes banning the burning of garbage and cow-dung patties in the city. This might be more politically damaging than banning cars as it directly affects their vote bank.

For residents of Delhi, an air purifier will help reduce the pollution inside your own home. Shutting your doors and windows is not enough because the particles are so small they can get in the cracks and gaps. The Philips AC4072 is popular with many families but the DIY Air Purifier is catching on for the more budget conscious.