Air pollution in the Indian capital city of New Delhi currently far exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) threshold for 'hazardous', meaning that 'everyone may experience serious effects'. As a result, authorities have banned the use of a large number of cars from November 4-15 using the odd-even scheme whereby cars with a number plate ending in an odd number will not be allowed to drive on 'odd' dates, and vice versa for even-numbered cars.
Data reported by the U.S. embassy in the city show how dangerously high the levels of PM2.5 (atmospheric particulate matter that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers) have become in recent days. Monday, the first day of the ban, had an average of 553—even exceeding values of the EPA category 'hazardous' and entering into undefined territory. Delhi isn't the worst affected Indian city, either, and the country as a whole is one of the worst-affected when it comes to shortened life expectancy due to air pollution.