two children, one rich, one poor, gasping for air in delhi’s smog - air purifier for smoke
NEW DELHI —
In the thick fog that swept the Indian capital earlier this month, a baby named Vaishnavi gasped all night.
In the concrete room where her father and mother rent $20 a month, they take turns to stay up late, put their hands on her ribs and feel the ribs moving up and down.
Her cough became so intense that she vomited and the milk was mixed with the rope.
They thought three times that she would not survive until morning.
Twenty miles away, in an elegant, high
Ceiling house in elite community, 4-year-
The old boy named Mehtab is also trying to fill his lungs with air.
His mother was very pregnant and sat next to him, injecting steroids with a nebulizer mask every hour.
But one hour is not enough.
Mehtab's father overcame a wave of panic while waiting for the sun to rise.
In his view, the boy is like a fish that suffocates in the air.
In the first seven days of this month, the metropolis of 20 million people was covered with a thick cloud.
The weather system known as the anti-cyclone controls, the pollution is pulled inward and outward, trapping people in the city in dangerous Micro
Particles have never been recorded here before.
The rich are buffered by so many dangers in Delhi that they hide themselves in, through expensive, hightech purifiers.
But the essence of air pollution is that it is everywhere.
Chinese researchers have found that the exposure rate of the rich and the poor is almost difficult to distinguish.
Average daytime level of PM 2.
5. the most dangerous particles, more than 700 micrograms per cubic meter, are 28 times as safe as the World Health Organization thinks, and the Delhi authorities have taken unprecedented steps to close schools for three days.
Protesters marched with surgical masks and held posters to compare the city to a gas chamber.
In the end, the wind increased and the pollution in the city fell to the usual level of severe winter.
But for months, air quality in northern India is still dangerous, as the poor fight against falling temperatures by burning things --
Leaves, plastic, anything. to stay warm.
There is clear evidence that mortality, emergency room visits, heart attacks, and strokes all rise when particulate concentrations are high.
Latest data from the World BankH. O.
According to the Global Burden of Disease Program, India's air pollution-related premature deaths have caught up with China's numbers and are now overtaking China. The worst-
Those affected will be very old people who are prone to heart attacks and strokes, while very young people whose lungs are heavily polluted by polluted air and cannot develop properly.
Children are smaller, have shallow breathing, have high heart rate and are more vulnerable to injury;
They breathe more air.
In a completely different home from Vaishnavi and Mehtab, four parents are waiting to see what other times this winter will do to their children.
Vasinavi's father, Ravi.
Like many people in India, who does not use last names?
Remember the day he woke up with a burning smell.
The rubber case of the wire is burning, which is his first thought.
He spent water on his eyes, stopping the sting.
On his way to the center of Delhi, he sold trinkets around the corner and passed by a row of smoke: gray --
Remove the blue wisps from a pile of garbage, and remove the black pillars from the fields where farmers burned the straw left by the rice harvest.
Scientists have been tracking the progress of a large amount of smoke through NASA satellite images as it rises from farmer fields in nearby Punjab and Haryana, drifting across the plains, flowing to the city, two-day drift.
In Delhi, it merged with cars and coal emissions
Open Power Plant
The air of construction waste and dust burns.
Crop this year-
Burning emissions happen to arrive on the eve of the Indian lantern festival Diwali, and millions of smoke celebrating fireworks usually release concentrations of harmful PM 2.
Ravi worked in the same corner from an early age and his mother worked there before him.
He has never seen such a thick haze hanging over Shangri-La. La Hotel.
He knew something was wrong: he felt dizzy as if he were sucking glue.
What worries him even more is his only child, 18-month-old Vaishnavi, whose intermittent nighttime cough is no longer calm with the arrival of the morning.
He bought her a surgical mask for 40 rupees.
About 60 cents.
From a merchant at a crossroads, but she pulled it down all the time.
On his way home, he jumped out of the car frantically.
Rickshaw confronted a man who burned a pile of garbage on the road.
"Please Don't Burn This, my daughter is crying," he said . ".
The man responded with a series of particularly dirty atrocities.
The air was completely stationary that week.
Meteorologists measure horizontal and vertical movements at zero.
4-year-old father Madhurbain Singh Anandyear-
When the clouds of pollution were shrouded in the city, old Mehta-bu stared at the garden behind their house;
Maybe the garden wall 20 feet away is out of sight.
The room was full of haze when someone opened the door.
"It's like those horror movies," he said . "
"When you open the door, things come in. ”Mr.
Anand, an executive at a clothing company, grew up at home and soon after his only child was 2 years old, his family moved back from Mumbai.
He wants Mehtab to enjoy the protected Delhi teenager like he did, roll out after school and run around with a bunch of neighborhood kids until dinner.
But that's not how Mehtab lives.
In the winter, when the air quality plummeted, he almost did not dare to go out because he was worried about causing breathing problems.
His mother, Guntas Kaur, gave him a tennis lesson and then went swimming again, but both had to be shortened due to a breather attack.
She said she had to give him more TV time.
A serious attack last year led to four.
Hospital days, madam.
Kaur moved Mehtab into his parents' bedroom and set the iPhone alarm every two hours so she could wear his nebulizer mask every other time throughout the evening.
On the night of Diwali, the couple sat inside and listened to the neighbors to celebrate.
They could hear the sound of firecrackers set off outside, and the expensive firecrackers hissed and burned for half an hour.
"We feel very upset . "Kaur said.
"We know what will happen.
"The two children, 20 miles apart, are at different ends of the economy and are sick on the same night. Thirty-
Six hours after the Diwali, pollution has gathered near the ground.
It is reported that the visibility of Delhi Airport is about 1,000 feet, which is the worst airport in 17 years.
According to Bhargav Krishna, after sporadic smoke incidents, it usually takes one to three days for children to have a serious impact, and the WHO public health foundation, which manages the Indian environmental health system, is
Founder of air care.
This crisis usually occurs in the form of lower respiratory infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, which can become dangerous, the lungs are filled with liquid and the oxygen content in the blood drops sharply. In mosquitoes.
Vaishnavi kept coughing: her face was red and the tendons on her neck popped out.
Ravi heard his wife's howling from his nap.
He didn't fall asleep again until morning, but rubbed his baby's feet and hands and listened to his heartbeat.
"She didn't make a voice," said her mother Bhanwari . ".
"You hear a breathing voice in her body. A rattling.
Mehtab also had trouble.
His mother, tired of his bondage, finally allowed him to go to school, but he was sent home immediately.
It is enough to be exposed to the air.
When night falls
Kaur started taking steroids every hour, something she never did.
15 minutes after she removed the mask from his face, he began to breathe and his ribs swelled.
"It's really bad . "Anand said.
"In fact, I can't explain it in words.
A decision was made soon afterwards. Mr.
Anand brought back an air purifier of 29,000 rupees. about $425 —
Turn it on and stare at the concentration of PM 2 on the display. 5.
It is more than 700 in the house.
Three days later.
Kaur left Delhi with Mehtab, and a few hours north she boarded the train to her parents' house.
What shocked her was how quickly his breathing eased.
They arrived at night and he slept peacefully and she reduced the steroid treatment to every four hours.
The next morning, when he was playing outside, she looked at him through the window.
She cried and called her husband, saying it was time to leave Delhi.
This is not the case with Vaishnavi.
This week she sat on her mother's lap, sucking lollipops while her aunt was cooking on a clay stove in the room, filled with smoke.
The worst season in Delhi has just begun.
It will last for three months, when a large number of homeless people in the city start to light night fires for heating, and when the temperature drops, emissions push towards the ground and things get worse.
Some of the emergency protection measures introduced within a week after the Lantern Festival, including the suspension of construction, have been reversed. The 43-year-
Old badpur coal mine
The power plant will remain closed until January. 31.
But then it will reopen. The new standard for coal-fired power plants next year will only apply to new power plants. Krishna said.
"You are no longer angry and start to be cynical at some point," he said . ".
"Year after year, action plans without follow-up have been releasedup.
This happens every year.
As the tourists returned to the street, Ravi, Vaishnavi's father, returned to his corner selling trinkets.
To protect his family from air pollution, he consulted a roadside doctor to learn that they should eat sugar cane.
He also bought a pair of glasses to protect his eyes from pollution and removed a few bricks from the wall of the small room with no air in his house, which he thought could improve air circulation.
Vaishnavi has improved in the course of taking antibiotics, but he is not sure if she will survive like the week after Diwali.
Or, as far as this is concerned, anyone will notice it if she doesn't.
"There is no memory in Delhi," he said . "
"One of every hundred people will ask me how she died.