Dec 08, 2015

Author: Justin Rowlatt

[…]In Beijing the concentration of the most dangerous particulates – the microscopic PM2.5 particles that can travel deep into your lungs – was 237 micrograms per cubic metre.

According to the US embassy’s air pollution monitor in Beijing the peak was 317. Those are very high levels. These PM2.5 micro-particles are classed as a Group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and, as well as damaging the lungs, are a cause of heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.

The official advice is that no one should undertake any physical activity at levels that high.

When I saw the news I turned on the small pollution detector I had bought over the weekend.
The LCD screen lit up and within a couple of seconds it produced a comparable figure.
The reading inside my Delhi home was 378. Yes, INSIDE my home.
I checked online and the air quality monitor at the US embassy here in Delhi – not far from my home – read the same. […]

[…]We moved here to Delhi with our four young children in the spring, when air quality is much better and, I’ll be honest, I am horrified by just how bad the winter pollution is.

It is one thing for an adult to decide to expose themself to this kind of health risk, quite another to impose it on a child.

Last week my five-year-old son William had his first asthma attack. He is now on steroids, as am I and my 14-year-old daughter, Eva.

My wife and I are wondering how long we can – in conscience – stay in Delhi.