Plastic waste Our sea Now it is a well-known problem, but new data shows that plastic is also increasing air pollution in Indian cities.
For years, scientists have wondered why Delhi suffers from thick smog compared to other polluted cities like Beijing. New research It binds to small chloride particles in the air that help make water droplets. Globally, chloride particles are found mainly near the coast, due to sea spray, but the air in Delhi and inland India is much higher than expected.
In the beginningAccording to sources, there are illegal factory units around Delhi that recycle electronics and those that use strong hydrochloric acid for cleaning and processing metals. These are certainly part of the problem, but new measurements have revealed another source.
The researchers looked at other contaminants that increased simultaneously, such as chloride particles. The chemical fingerprint matched the plastic household waste and the burning of the plastic itself. This large amount of chloride is estimated to be responsible for almost half of the incidents in Delhi.
In low-income countries, about 90% of waste is disposed of on open poles or burned in the open air. If you set fire to plastic, it quickly reveals its origin as an oil-based product by producing large amounts of black smoke. Use of data on landfill contents from around the world, Researchers Kings and Imperial Colleges in London estimate that open-burning mascara has a global warming effect of 2% and 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions.
Burn plastic It also produces large amounts of dioxins and other highly toxic contaminants that can persist in the food chain. Modern landfills in the UK and Europe make great efforts to reduce these toxic emissions, but they are not safe when burned at home or in the open.
The problem of burning waste in Indian cities does not end there. As James Allen of the University of Manchester, who participated in the latest Indian study, explained, excess chloride can promote chemical reactions between different air pollutants. That includes inclusion Ground level ozone It has already been estimated all over India Reduce production 20% to 30% of some Indian crops.
Better waste management needs to be prioritized, but global plastics production and use also needs to be reconsidered to eliminate plastic pollution.
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