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These Pictures Of Delhi's Toxic Smog Are Surreal And Troubling

These Pictures Of Delhi's Toxic Smog Are Surreal And Troubling

According to experts, breathing the air in Delhi is equivalent to smoking 44 cigarettes a day.

Posted on November 16, 2017, at 5:06 p.m. ET

This week, thick and toxic smog engulfed India's capital, New Delhi, a city of more than 21 million residents. According to the US embassy, air quality levels have risen to over 10 times the accepted limit. The index used to rate the quality of air is known as PM 2.5, or particulate matter, which this week measured 451 — this is over the standard of 50 for heathy and breathable air.

These pictures capture the surreal scene as the city's residents go about their daily lives amid the toxic environment.

Vehicles drive through heavy smog in New Delhi on Nov. 8.
Cathal Mcnaughton / Reuters

Vehicles drive through heavy smog in New Delhi on Nov. 8.

Raisina Hill is shrouded in smog on Nov. 13 in New Delhi.
Hindustan Times / Getty Images

Raisina Hill is shrouded in smog on Nov. 13 in New Delhi.

In this Nov. 8 photo, two men pedal their bicycles past cows enveloped in the morning smog on the outskirts of New Delhi.
R S Iyer / AP

In this Nov. 8 photo, two men pedal their bicycles past cows enveloped in the morning smog on the outskirts of New Delhi.

Dense fog engulfs the Dasna stretch in Ghaziabad on Nov. 7.
Hindustan Times / Getty Images

Dense fog engulfs the Dasna stretch in Ghaziabad on Nov. 7.

A street cleaner works in heavy smog in Delhi, on Nov. 10.
Cathal Mcnaughton / Reuters

A street cleaner works in heavy smog in Delhi, on Nov. 10.

In this Nov. 9 photo, an Indian boy uses a handkerchief to protect his face as school children and parents await transportation while surrounded by morning smog on the outskirts of New Delhi.
R S Iyer / AP

In this Nov. 9 photo, an Indian boy uses a handkerchief to protect his face as school children and parents await transportation while surrounded by morning smog on the outskirts of New Delhi.

Dense fog engulfs the Dasna stretch in Ghaziabad on Nov. 7.
Hindustan Times / Getty Images

Dense fog engulfs the Dasna stretch in Ghaziabad on Nov. 7.

New Delhi on Nov. 8.
Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

New Delhi on Nov. 8.

Dense smog on the morning of Nov. 9, engulfs Karol Bagh in New Delhi.
Hindustan Times / Getty Images

Dense smog on the morning of Nov. 9, engulfs Karol Bagh in New Delhi.

A child makes his way through dense smog near Akshardham on Nov. 13 in New Delhi.
Hindustan Times / Getty Images

A child makes his way through dense smog near Akshardham on Nov. 13 in New Delhi.

Heavy smog envelops the Delhi-UP link road near Mayur Vihar Phase-I on Nov. 8.
Hindustan Times / Getty Images

Heavy smog envelops the Delhi-UP link road near Mayur Vihar Phase-I on Nov. 8.

A plane arrives in New Delhi on Nov. 11.
Nurphoto / Getty Images

A plane arrives in New Delhi on Nov. 11.

In this Nov. 9 photo, two men walk past a cow surrounded by morning smog on the outskirts of the city.
R S Iyer / AP

In this Nov. 9 photo, two men walk past a cow surrounded by morning smog on the outskirts of the city.

Indian workers sweep away dust amid morning fog in Greater Noida, near New Delhi, on Nov. 10.
R S Iyer / AP

Indian workers sweep away dust amid morning fog in Greater Noida, near New Delhi, on Nov. 10.

Children make their way to school in heavy fog at Dasna village in Ghaziabad.
Hindustan Times / Getty Images

Children make their way to school in heavy fog at Dasna village in Ghaziabad.

Air pollution levels in the national capital of New Delhi, continued to rise on Nov. 8, as dense smog engulfed the city and neighboring areas, causing delays in flight and train services, even as the health ministry issued an advisory asking people to stay indoors.
Nurphoto / Getty Images

Air pollution levels in the national capital of New Delhi, continued to rise on Nov. 8, as dense smog engulfed the city and neighboring areas, causing delays in flight and train services, even as the health ministry issued an advisory asking people to stay indoors.

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