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Cause for alarm:Delhi’s air pollution will qualify as a public health emergency

Health Issues India has been covering stories on air pollution in Delhi, as it is a cause for alarm for all its citizens. A cause for alarm is putting it mildly. On November 27th, one of the US Embassy’s pollution-monitoring stations in New Delhi recorded a chart-breaking reading of 999 on its custom-developed Air Quality Index. To put that in perspectiv

This Huffington Post article gets more serious when it says, “the agency’s definition of hazardous specifies: ‘serious aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly; serious risk of respiratory effects in general population.’”

Source: Huffington Post
Source: Huffington Post

The article mentions many causes for this rising air pollution:

  • The obvious ones include construction, cars and industries for Delhi’s toxic air.
  • The city’s geography has a role to play. As a landlocked megacity, Delhi has fewer avenues for flushing polluted air out of the city. Coastal cities such as Mumbai have a shot at ‘replacing’ polluted air with relatively unpolluted sea breezes.
  • Traditional agricultural practices too are to blame too. October and November are the months when farmers in Punjab raze the remnant stubble of their paddy fields to prepare them for the winter sowing.

It is high time for the citizens of Delhi to act. How? Organisations, health professionals and citizens need to get together and petition authorities to act. Advocacy has a huge role to play.At the individual level, people must work out how to start carpooling and demanding for eco friendly technologies.

We would like to hear from all of our Delhi readers on this issues. For any comments, please write to us on our contact page.


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