These New Delhi Selfies Are Raising Eyebrows

Residents are documenting intense smog
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2016 8:03 AM CST
These New Delhi Selfies Are Raising Eyebrows
Indian tourists take selfies against the war memorial India Gate engulfed in smog in New Delhi, India, Sunday.   (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

It is tough to breathe in New Delhi these days, and people are protesting the dangerous air with what Mashable calls "smog selfies." Residents are posing with landmarks behind them—except that the landmarks are obscured by smog. Another dig: Members of a visiting cricket team whose game was canceled because of the air posed in protective masks. New Delhi, already considered one of the most polluted cities in the world, logged levels of PM2.5 (particulates that clog lungs) above 900 micrograms per cubic meter Saturday, or 90 times higher than the level the World Health Organization calls safe, reports the BBC. Now people are venting online though the hashtag #MyRighttoBreathe.

For now, government officials are urging everyone to stay inside because pollution this severe can lead to heart disease, lung cancer, and asthma, especially in kids. Schools were on Monday ordered canceled for three days, and all construction in the city has been suspended. A variety of culprits are being blamed: In addition to the usual factors of car exhaust and the burning of rubbish, fireworks during the recent Diwali festival didn't help, and NASA images suggest that massive crop burning as farmers clear their fields also is playing a role. (In Italy, smog put a damper on pizza.)

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