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Air Pollution In New Delhi Reaches Dangerous Levels

Pollution levels in New Delhi have reached a dangerous high.

The Indian Medical Association declared a public health emergency Tuesday after air quality readings soared off the charts.

According to the U.S. Embassy in India, the air quality index in the capital city peaked at 1,010 on Wednesday. For reference, that number far exceeds the good and moderate air quality numbers, which range from 0 to 100.

Officials warned residents to avoid any outdoor activities. And schools throughout the city will be closed for the rest of the week.

SEE MORE: Pollution Could Be Killing More People Than Smoking, War Or Hunger

Air quality in New Delhi typically takes a turn for the worse around this time of year, when cooler air traps pollutants near the ground and prevents them from dispersing into the atmosphere.

Last November, the city experienced record-breaking pollution levels that forced schools to close and drastically reduced visibility.

New Delhi has taken steps to make pollution control a priority, like tightening vehicle emissions standards and enforcing higher penalties for burning garbage.

But critics argue the government must enact more long-term solutions to get the air quality problem under control, including an improved public transportation system and a ban on dirty industry fuel.

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