Air pollution levels have shot up in the Indian capital, Delhi, during the current festive season of Diwali.

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A lot of attention has focused on the impact of fireworks and this year India's Supreme Court has recently allowed the use of green or eco-friendly crackers.

But how far are fireworks responsible for poor air quality?

There are studies which show that levels of some hazardous pollutants rise significantly during the Diwali period, but there are also other factors that could account for poor air quality.

How bad is air pollution in Delhi?
Air pollution has become an increasingly serious problem in Indian cities in recent years.

Around 57,000 people died prematurely in Delhi in 2020 as a result of exposure to air pollution according to Greenpeace, despite the Covid lockdown.

Twenty of the world's 30 most polluted cities are in India according to a World Air Quality report for 2020, with the highest annual concentrations of PM2.5 - one of the most harmful particles for human health.

How does Diwali affect the air quality?
Several states have banned the sale and use of fireworks during Diwali, but the implementation of the ban is weak in many states.

A 2018 study that has attempted to answer this question says there is a "small but statistically significant" effect from Diwali fireworks.

The study focused on five locations across Delhi, and looked at data gathered between 2013 and 2016.

Diwali is set according to the Hindu lunar calendar and usually happens in late October or early November.