Air pollution needs answer | Letters to the editor –

Air pollution needs answer | Letters to the editor


The current public health emergency due to air pollution in New Delhi and northern India demands a response from the American Indian community. Here are some suggestions for actions we can take:

Check with family, friends and colleagues in North India to ensure they are protected during this public health emergency. Everyone should wear an N99 mask and have access to effective air purification at work, school and home. Ideally, people should evacuate New Delhi, especially if they have preexisting cardiovascular or respiratory health problems.

Cancel your next trip to India. Not only is this peak tourist season, it is also the season of greatest air pollution. We need to protect ourselves from getting sick. In addition, we have to prove that our tourism dollars are not worth the risk to our health and that of our family.

Demand the highest standards of air quality in and for India. In New Delhi and northern India, moving from a "dangerous" to "very poor" air quality index is not enough. We need to support citizen action groups that advocate for a truly clean air. We need to help farmers practice sustainable alternatives for stubble burning. We need to motivate world leaders in the automotive and manufacturing industries and in the governments of India and the United States to improve fuel quality, emission standards and the public health response in India.

The NRI community has incredible experience, influence and ability to act against air pollution and toxicity in India. If we show that we care, we can mitigate considerable damage to the Indians in the generations to come.

Gita Sinha

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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