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India reels under blanket of toxic smog

The Indian government, fresh from its victory at the latest climate summit in succeeding to undermine efforts to curtail the use of fossil fuels, especially coal, is once again facing a pollution crisis in its northern heartlands. Last week, schools and many factories and offices were shut down in the capital New Delhi as pollution levels for the deadly PM 2.5 particles reached well above safe levels. While winter usually brings still weather in the northern plains, the last two decades has seen toxic smog fogs envelop tens of millions of Indians for weeks at a time. Not only is the pollution worse in working class areas, but workers often need to move around outside for their work and cannot afford to buy the expensive air purifiers that can clean some of the pollutants in the home. It is estimated that approximately 1.7 million Indians die every year due to the effects of air pollution. In neighbouring Pakistan, the government is also coming under increasing public pressure as the major city of Lahore, on the border with India, is now also experiencing a severe, ongoing smog event that has surpassed all air quality safety limits. Source: AAWL Mininews

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