26 November 2014

Rickshaw research reveals extreme Delhi pollution

In this Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 photo, U.S. scientist Joshua Apte monitors pollution levels on his laptop as he travels in an open-aired auto-rickshaw during rush-hour traffic in New Delhi, India. Apte has alarming findings for anyone who spends time on or near the roads in this city of 25 million, with numbers far worse than the ones that have already led the World Health Organization to rank New Delhi as the world’s most polluted city. Average pollution levels, depending on the pollutant, were 50 percent to 8 times higher on the road than urban background readings, including official ambient air pollution measures, according to research by Apte and his partners at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi.
The three-wheeled rickshaw lurched through New Delhi's commuter-clogged streets with an American scientist and several air pollution monitors in the back seat. Car horns blared. A scrappy scooter buzzed by belching black smoke from its tailpipe. One of the monitors spiked.
Joshua Apte has alarming findings for anyone who spends time on or near the roads in this city of 25 million. The numbers are far worse than the ones that have already led the World Health Organization to rank New Delhi as the world's most polluted city.