Charles Riley’s report focuses on the health impact of living in Delhi’s toxic air environment. The report includes a video segment and interviews/profiles with “an angry doctor, a lawyer with a cause, an air filter entrepreneur, children, living under coal’s shadow, and a passionate advocate
From the report….
“…While Beijing grabs the headlines for poor air quality, scientists say the pollution here is far worse. In 2014, the World Health Organization released data on air quality in 1,600 cities, and Delhi was found to have the highest concentration of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, also called PM 2.5.
“The air in Delhi assaults the senses: On bad days, thick smog obscures the sun, reducing visibility to just a few hundred meters. The smog is often tinged with woodsmoke, and the scent clings to jackets and trousers like air from a smoky bar. Delhi’s High Court has compared conditions in the city to “living in a gas chamber.”
“PM 2.5 particles are exceedingly small and can evade the body’s normal defenses and penetrate deep into the lungs, causing chronic health problems. They have been linked to increased risk of asthma, heart disease, stroke and respiratory infections, as well as cancer of the trachea, lung, and bronchus.
“…The same heavy use of fossil fuels that has helped turn India into the world’s fastest-growing major economy is now choking its residents — and raising questions about the government’s blueprint for future development. Other cities have faced similar public health crises. Los Angeles used to be so polluted that, during World War II, residents mistook thick smog for a Japanese chemical munitions attack. Londoners suffered greatly during the industrial revolution. Polluting steel mills contributed to scores of deaths in the American Midwest.
But Delhi’s leaders face a particularly fraught policy dilemma: Crack down too hard on the sources of pollution and risk damaging economic growth in a megacity where millions of people still live in abject poverty. Do nothing and sentence all of Delhi’s children to a lifetime of breathing dirty air.” CNN Money. Read it on delhiair.org
Death by pollution: Delhi’s fight for clean air