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India's super toxic air, unmasked

Have you ever heard of a highly poisonous chemical called Bisphenol-A? It's been found in several kinds of plastics, such as some hard water bottles and containers, added to give them specific properties.

india Updated: Oct 17, 2010 23:41 IST
Bharati Chaturvedi

Have you ever heard of a highly poisonous chemical called Bisphenol-A? It's been found in several kinds of plastics, such as some hard water bottles and containers, added to give them specific properties.

Unfortunately, it also leaches out and can disrupt the way our bodies function in a fundamental way. It created enough of a scare two years ago for Canada to ban it and for several states in the US to do the same.

A study tells us the air in Mumbai and Chennai has nearly 10 times more of this poison than China, Japan and New Zealand. The scientists have concluded that India might be exporting this poison through the air to other countries! So, what are we to do? One suggestion they have is to stop burning plastics, which might be releasing the stuff. What you can do is ensure your home and neighbourhood follows this.

What a fast means
Till recently, it was a time for austerity, for deprivation and frugality. Now, in almost every city, advertisements dot the skyline for special "fast-food". But we should be able to experience being frugal. Converting any fast into an alternative spree may be acceptable from the religious point of view, but it is a missed opportunity to experience what a more equal, sustainable world feels like.