AQI even more than 10 is harmful to human health

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I am in Tokyo for the annual meeting of the Japan Medical Association and I see people wearing anti-pollution masks. When I enquired about the AQI levels, to my surprise, they were only 60.

Remember, the air quality in Delhi-NCR has been ranging between severe to very poor category, especially after Diwali, with the overall air quality index (AQI) levels more than 400. In some places, it has crossed even the 500 mark. Delhi continues to be enveloped in a thick layer of smog.

At 743, the AQI was hazardous in ITI Jahangirpuri even on Saturday morning at 11am; Anand Vihar, the AQI was 596; Vasundhara, Ghaziabad, 614 (

Consequently, the Supreme Court mandated Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) declared a public health emergency in the Delhi-NCR region and banned construction activity till November 5. The bursting of crackers during the winter season has also been banned.

An AQI between 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor and 401-500 severe; above 500 falls in the severe-plus emergency category.

Despite this, not everybody is wearing anti-pollution masks.

The answer is very clear, the normal AQI should be less than 10; any value more than 10 is harmful to the human body.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

President Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Past National President IMA