The sixth-biggest cause of death globally is small-particle pollution, chemical specks that enter the lungs and can contribute to cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer, and infections. It led to more than 4 million deaths in 2016. Ninety-nine per cent of children 5 years old and younger in South and East Asia breathe unhealthy air.
Much of China’s particulate pollution comes from industrial facilities, especially coal-burning power plants. In India, PM2.5 comes not only from cars and coal-fired power stations, but also from widely used domestic cookstoves and the common agricultural practice of burning to clear fields.
India’s minister for environment, forest, and climate change has shut down a coal-burning power plant, increased the number of street sweepers in the capital region to combat dust, and started an initiative to mechanize the clearing of fields. Read more
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