Indian Government Should Declare Country’s Air Pollution Problem A Public Health Emergency
Washington Post: I’m a chest surgeon in India. It’s clear that pollution is a health emergency.
Arvind Kumar, surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi and founder of the Lung Care Foundation
“…[I]t is time to call India’s deadly pollution crisis a public health emergency. … The government must declare an emergency and swiftly enact transformational change in policies regarding energy and transportation, the two main contributors to air pollution. … If India’s government declared a public health emergency, it would increase awareness and safety measures among the public. The emergency declaration should come with clear guidelines for the public regarding when to avoid outdoor activity and when to keep children indoors. Such a declaration would also add heavy public pressure on government officials to clean up India’s air. We know that stringent air pollution control measures work — they have effectively cleaned the air of many developed countries. In contrast, in low- and middle-income countries, 98 percent of all children under five live in areas where air pollution levels exceed the World Health Organization’s guidelines. India is among the worst affected countries, with 14 of the 15 most polluted cities in the world in 2016. … It is time for the human race to keep fossil fuels in the ground and shift completely to the abundant and clean above-ground sources of energy such as sun, water, and wind. This is the only way to ensure the gift of clean air to our children. Our future depends on it” (2/13).