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Sejal Singh
21 years, MS, Environmental Economics

“The seriousness of the climate crisis deserves more than empty rhetoric  without any actual climate activity.”
US Senator Elizabeth Warren in a letter to American Business Roundtable, an influential group of business leaders, chaired by Walmart CEO.

Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings and/or cause damage to the climate or materials. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some of the most polluted cities in the world are Karachi, New Delhi, Beijing, Lima, and Cairo in Egypt. Securing a position here in India is New Delhi, where the air quality has deteriorated significantly. Further, New Delhi has made it on the list with prevalent hazardous short-term effects, including illnesses such as pneumonia or bronchitis, discomforts such as irritation to the nose, throat, eyes, or skin, headaches, dizziness, and nausea and long-term effects of air pollution can last for years or an entire lifetime. They can even lead to a person’s death. 

Long-term effects include heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases such as emphysema, long-term damage to people’s nerves, brain, kidneys, liver, and other organs. Some scientists suspect air pollutants may even cause birth defects. The list stating the damage air pollution does to the human body plus the effect it has on the environment is already very long and counting. 

Like living beings, the entire ecosystem suffers from the after-effects from air pollution, including haze-like smog which causes visibility issues and muffled sounds. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide particles in the air can create acid rain when they mix with water and oxygen in the atmosphere further deteriorating the situation at hand. If these aren’t enough reasons for people to start taking this crisis seriously which causes incessant damage in so many contexts, nothing ever will. 

A 2018 report by the Health Effects Institute projects a rise in annual deaths in India due to air pollution from 1.1 million in 2015 to 1.7 million in 2030. It is  imperative here to not make it a factual piece but to draw attention by stating  what we already know, the effects. 

A lot has been said about the policy actions which serve as the catalysts already present. The actions that are needed and the multidimensional processes needed to tackle it, WE ALL KNOW IT but seldom act on it. 

A conscious and collaborative effort on an individual level to address the issue of State of Delhi’s air can make this rather toothless process – a high impact one. 

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1 Comment

  1. Prashant gaurav

    Absolutely the biggest concern that the people of Delhi are facing along with the growing numbers of covid patients.


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