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A Closer Look at Air Pollution in India

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India is one of the most polluted countries in South East Asia. There are severe problems with both indoor and outdoor air pollution in India. The indoor air pollution is caused by many factors, but mostly the burning of toxic fuels to prepare meals. Indian people, burn coal, wood, and even animal dung to cook their meals, which releases toxins into the air they breathe. Breathing in this terrible quality air is responsible for nearly 500,000 deaths there each year. This high number is mostly women and children and it is a serious problem. This number, according to the World Health Organization, is 80% of the nearly 600,000 deaths related to indoor air pollution in all of SE Asia. A shocking 70 percent of rural households in India do not have any ventilation at all. Air pollution in India caused by these problems could be cut in half by taking a few measures. These measures include promoting smokeless cooking methods, and the use of proper ventilation. If these methods of helping were put into action then the deaths caused by indoor air pollution in India could be reduced by half. Although the methods for helping with air pollution in India sound great it will be a long and hard road to success. These methods for cooking have been in place for so many years people do not want to change.

In India more than 3 billion people burn fuels to cook their meals, so this is a lot of people to try to convince to change their ways. People have been doing things a certain way so long they are stubborn about making the changes. Some arguments to the smokeless cooking methods that the villages’ men have are that it doesn’t have the same flavor they prefer when cooked without smoke, and that the smoke keeps mosquitoes away from their homes. An argument people have against ventilation is it takes away from their privacy. Mostly women are exposed to the highest concentration of smoke while cooking, and they end up dying too soon as a result. It may take along time and much convincing but the Indian government is committed to getting these changes in effect by 2015. People may think the only risks of air pollution in India are from factories and automobiles, like most places, but the indoor air pollution is a serious problem. There are many risks from the outdoor pollution in the cities of India, but the indoor air pollution can’t be ignored because of the alarming number of deaths it causes each year.



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