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Thursday, January 30, 2014

CHINA'S AIR POLLUTION IS TERRIBLE...INDIA'S COULD BE WORSE!!!

The headline article this morning in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser blared


This photo of Forbidden City was shown.  Actually, I've suffered through worse, and you can read about my experiences here:


I took this photo from my hotel room in the later morning and there was no fog.  Peruse the whole article for entertainment value, but I suffered, for I began coughing during my stay in China, which I couldn't shake for more than a month.  I will return to China only under crucial compelling circumstances.

Well, we are familiar with all the above, but how many of you know that the air pollution in India could well be worse?  Here is a photo I took from my hotel in Delhi towards India Gate, which was not that far away:


If you clicked on that posting, scroll down to the comments.  The article was entitled, INDIA SUCKS, and I stopped counting after 50 responses.

Amazingly enough, while the horrific quality of the air in China has made headlines, the air pollution in New Delhi is far worse!!!   And people don't seem to care much because everything else is worser (there is such a word, and I still get upset to recall that I got a D on an essay paper in high school when my instructor said there was no such word) yet.

How bad?
  • The particulates are more dangerous
  • A very bad air day in Beijing is about average for Delhi.
  • There was a day when the PM2.5 hit 500 in Beijing a year ago and was cited by the American
    Embassy as dangerous.  During this general period, the average in Beijing was 227, while Delhi was 473.  Only once in three weeks did Delhi drop below 300:  a level more than 12 times the exposure limit recommended by the World Health Organization.
  • Delhi is bad, but other cities are getting worse.
  • People in India have the weakest lungs, far worse than in China.  There was a time when this was thought to be genetic.  However, the lungs of Indians born of immigrant parent in the U.S. are normal.
  • India has the world's highest death rate because of chronic respiratory diseases.
  • India has more deaths from asthma.
  • In 1998 India's Supreme Court ordered that Delhi's three-wheeled taxis (notorious for emissions) be converted to compressed natural gas.  This actually happened, but the numbers increased because of more roads.
So do India and China have the worst air pollution in the world?  Well, partially yes, for  the World Health Organization cites cities in Iran, India, Pakistan and the capital of Mongolia as the pits.  That's Tehran to the left, this article said thousands died.  The U.S. and Canada are among the best.  But headlines show that 60% of Americans live in areas with unhealthy air pollution levels, as reported by the American Lung Association (ALA).  Read the article, but Los Angeles is at the highest risk from ozone and and Bakersfield for air pollution.  Honolulu is rated among the cities with the best quality, but ALA is not analyzing this accurately, for the volcanic haze from Kilauea, that has been erupting for nearly a third of a century now, causes days when, I think, Honolulu joins Beijing and New Delhi as unhealthy.  I worry more for those living on the Big Island.

By the way, you can compare pollution with any city in the world, as I did with Honolulu and Beijing:


Honolulu, HIBeijing
Improve DataImprove Data
Air Pollution
10.71
93.10
Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility
0.00
74.04
Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal
0.00
56.73
Dirty and Untidy
25.00
61.54
Noise and Light Pollution
20.00
61.11
Water Pollution
25.00
79.63
Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City
12.50
84.17
Dissatisfaction with Green and Parks in the City
20.00
66.67
Contributors:731
Last Update:October, 2013January, 2014
 You can read the entire chart, but click on that link to follow-up.  By the way, here are Delhi and Beijing this month:
DelhiBeijing
Improve DataImprove Data
Air Pollution
76.92
93.10
Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility
63.54
74.04
Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal
66.67
56.73
Dirty and Untidy
68.75
61.54
Noise and Light Pollution
58.33
61.11
Water Pollution
66.67
79.63
Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City
65.38
84.17
Dissatisfaction with Green and Parks in the City
35.42
66.67
Contributors:2731
Last Update:  (both in January, 2014)

As much as that above article condemned Delhi, Beijing looks worse this month.  But let's face it, we are lucky to live in the USA, and even more so if you are in Honolulu, except for those days of Kona weather and volcanic fumes..

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