The Air Report [28/11/16]
Smog gayi. Baat rahi.
PM10 Level (Safe): 100 micrograms per cubic metre
PM10 Level (Delhi): 405 PM10 Level (Beijing): 29
PM2.5 Level (Safe): 60 micrograms per cubic metre
PM2.5 Level (Delhi): 330 PM2.5 Level (Beijing): 78 PM2.5 Level (New York): 14
One of the problems about air pollution is that it isn’t tangible.
You can see dirty water. You can see garbage. But how are you supposed to know that the air quality is poor or moderate? Of course, the people who suffer from it can tell you, but this is one of those reasons why we don’t give a damn about our air getting dirtier and dirtier. There are also some very reliable websites and apps which can tell you too, but more on that later.
Let’s talk about how air pollution kills you.
In 2012, close to 7 milion people died from air pollution. That’s 70 lakh people. That is 70,00,000 people.
The WHO (World Health Organization) says that outdoor air pollution is carcinogenic, that is, it can cause cancer.
It will reduce your lifespan.
It can cause heart disease.
It can make you suffer from asthma.
It can give you a stroke.
It can lead to bronchitis. [WHO]
If you’re among those who buy Odomos and condoms for prevention, you might be interested to know that air pollution causes more deaths than malaria and HIV-AIDS. [The Guardian]
Masks, you say? A toxic form of iron nanoparticles has been found to be present in the brain tissue as well as in smog. And they are nanoparticles; even your best and costliest masks won’t stop them from being inhaled. Just to make the point even more clear, scientists have found a very, very strong link between levels of this chemical and Alzheimer’s. In kids. [Gizmodo]
Now, surely, they can’t be suffering from air pollution, can they?
What happened this week?
The Okhla waste-to-energy plant’s fate was to be decided by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). After being brought to court by residents living nearby, the data itself was labeled incorrect by the NGT. [TOI]
What’s the link? Well, the plant itself spews toxic gases. And has made the life of the residents hell. Worryingly, this is the case for all three waste-to-energy plants in the city. And ironically, this bodes worse for making the environment clean. [Indian Express]
And just to remind you, our Honorable Chief Minister had assured the residents that the Okhla plant would be closed. In February 2015. [Down To Earth]
In other news, the three infants who came into the limelight last year with the petition filed on their behalf, have won a legal victory. Courtesy the Supreme Court, the sale, stocking, transport and issuance of new licences to sell firecrackers have been stopped and suspended. [India Today]
Ah, that stench? Taking note of the waste management and landfill management (the lack of it, actually) in the city, the High Court has also summoned the three municipal commissioners of the city as well as the member secretary of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, and asked them to be present on December 1. [TOI]
Our Lieutenant-Governor has himself asked authorities and is himself looking at the problems of construction activities and garbage burning. [Indian Express]
And for some reason, you still can’t retrofit your vehicles to a CNG kit. Not for some time, at least (better explained here). [DNA]