〒180-0006 東京都武蔵野市中町2-3-5 IIHA武蔵野1階
Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Millions of masks distributed to students in ‘gas chamber’ Delhi
Delhi, or the National Capital Territory of Delhi, is a union territory of India including New Delhi, the capital of India. The population of its extended urban area is estimated to be over 26 million, world’s second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo. The India’s capital city is famous for not only the ancient and modern architectures, foods, and cultural identities but also tiny particulate matter, or PM2.5. The atmospheric particulate matter (PM) have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is only about 3% the diameter of a human hair. Exposures to PM2.5 has both short term and long term health impacts. Short term impacts include irritation in the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath. A prolonged exposure to PM2.5 could cause permanent respiratory problems such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and heart disease. It is so harmful to the health, especially to people with breathing and heart problems, children, and the elderly, that the World Health Organization recommends that the PM2.5 levels should not go over 25 micrograms per cubic meter on average in 24 hours.
However, the particulate matter in the air in Delhi went over 500 micrograms per cubic meter recently. The city government distributed masks to children and closed schools and also reduced the number of the cars to be driven on the street in half. Construction works are all suspended, and many factories and offices are closed. And this severe air pollution isn’t just happening this year. In fact, in 2017, Sri Lankan national cricket players vomited on the pitch because of the poor air quality.
Why do they suffer so much from the same human-caused air pollution? Don’t they know what are causing the problem? Beijing had a similar problem but they seem to have solved, or at least eased it.
Enjoy reading the article and think what democratic government can do and don’t do.