India's Airpocalypse: Have we finally reached a Tipping Point?

发表于 十一月 11, 2019
by Misha Ma

"The metropolitan area near the Indian capital of New Delhi is facing an unprecedented air pollution problem, and now the entire northern part of India seems to be covered with a thick layer of gray yarn."

                                                                                                                                                 ——"Times of India" reported on Nov. 4th

India's Airpocalypse

Last week(since Nov 1st), air quality levels of PM2.5 inIndia's capital, New Delhi, reached over 800 μg/m3, a mindblowing 32 times more hazardous than what the World Health Organization considers healthy. 

The National Health Service of India announced on Twitter that it exceeded the air pollution monitoring value of 999 (40 represents healthy air) and said it was a “disaster”.

PM2.5 has been linked to higher rates of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer, and obesity, yet Indiahas shown no signs of implementing significant structural change, leaving residents and the private sector to respond. A public health emergency has been declared, halting construction, limiting cars on the road, and shutting down schools and some businesses.

India now has pollution levels equivalent to smoking 33 cigarettes a day. —— ABC news

What leads the pollution in India to become so serious – the development of industry is one of the causes of haze. India's industry is currently relatively junior, and the main energy source depends on buring coal. This is a production mode that is much more serious than oil pollution. With the gradual development of Indian industry, haze is going to be more serious. Another main reason is that farmers burn crops to clear fields. Straw incineration has led to a sharp increase in nitrogen oxides and sulphide particles and gases, almost “contributing” nearly half of the sources of air pollution to New Delhi.

The final consequence is not only in New Delhi, but also in all major cities and even villages in India, the shaze has become sorely unstoppable. According to the World Health Organization's air pollution data released in 2018, among the top polluting cities in the world, seven of the top ten are Indian cities – India is already the most polluted country in the world.


China&India Air Facts

According to the Global Air Report released by the US Health Effects Institute (HEI) in 2016, long-term living in air pollution has caused approximately 6.1 million deaths worldwide in 2016. Among them, China and India accounted for more than half of the global death toll.

Approximately 60% of the population lived in areas where air pollution exceeded the “healthy air” indicator by more than three times. 


The harm of atmospheric particles should not be underestimated. In 2016, long-term living in the PM2.5 environments has caused 4.1 million premature deaths. China and India are the countries with the largest number of deaths due to PM2.5, accounting for 26% and 25% of the global total respectively.

Although nowdays China has seen a significant reductionin outdoor smog, many of us remember in 2012 when the US Embassy’s officialmonitoring station reported local levels as “Crazy High”, triggering a scarethat led to lines for masks, purifiers, and finally a public awareness that air quality was a problem that needed to be dealt with. 


India's Tipping Point

Could India also be on the verge of hitting the tipping point?

Erik Solheim, former Executive Director of the UN Environment Agency, implied: "Air pollution is currently the world's largest environmental health risk. In recent years, issues such as deteriorating air quality have continued to heat up, and air pollution has become a new central issue in the public health field. The recent India haze crisis has highlighted the importance of multinational cooperation on issues such as air pollution," he said, "The activities in a certain area affect the health and well-beings of people hundreds of miles away. We need a comprehensive approach that works hard to improve air quality, to improve people's overall quality of life, to protect the climate, to support sustainable development, and to bring tangible benefits to people."


India really should do something!


What you can do against PM

The public needs to recognize that air quality is a problem that needs to be addressed. As an individual or a company, we start with the indoor environment and take the indoor environment of our daily life as the direction of our efforts.


How can PureLiving help

Contact us – here is what we can do.

PureLiving is a leading indoor environmental consulting company with a simple mission: to help our clients create healthy homes and workplaces. Our expert team of building engineers, HVAC specialists, and environmental consultants advises clients on air and water quality, mold, asbestos and lead exposure issues and helps to improve their indoor environmental quality through testing to identify sources of pollution and then eliminating them. Our total range of solutionsincludes pollutant testing, design and installation of cutting-edge filtration systems, monitoring, and odor and chemical reduction.

PureLiving has become the leading company of indoor environments, not only in China but also the wider Asian market and beyond.


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