Air pollution is a serious issue and a cause for major concern in today’s world. A report published in 2014 by the World Health Organisation states that 4.21 million individuals died prematurely in 2012 as a result of air pollution. Air pollution existed much before humans, in the form of volcanic eruptions and forest fires. However, it became much more prevalent after the Industrial Revolution.
Rapid industrial growth, unregulated emissions and a host of other issues significantly contributed to the rise in air pollution. In some cases, the severity of air pollution reached an extent where government intervention was necessary. The Great Smog of London, 1952, was an extreme case of air pollution where visibility was severely hampered. It also caused a host of illnesses and the consequent deaths of countless civilians. In November 2017, the levels of air pollution in Delhi were ten times above the safe limits. For reference, the healthy air quality index is between 0 to 50, but during that particular time period, the air quality index hit 500+. This event is now called the Great Smog of Delhi.
An air quality index of 500 and above indicates that the air is heavily polluted and will cause irreversible lung damage and a host of other illnesses to everyone who is exposed to it. Therefore, to avoid such situations in the future, relevant actions must be implemented.