Coal presents a problem to India and China because it’s the cheapest option for rapid economic and infrastructural development, but its over usage is causing environmental and health problems. Coal smoke contains pollutants such as soot and ash, and gases such as oxides of sulfur and nitrogen. These particulates are dangerous and threaten the health of those who breathe them. Coal processing for energy purposes also produces a large amount of carbon dioxide, which is the gas produced by humans that most contributes to climate change.
The coal consumption of the two largest nations in the world is having a problematic, dramatic effect on both local and long-distance regions.
In China, a recent study suggests that 80% of cities are emitting sulfur dioxide and/or nitrogen dioxide well above the acceptable levels of the World Health Organization. Furthermore, air pollutants are traveling to locations as far as South Korea, and creating an adverse effect there as well.
In India, the problem is the same. The WHO estimates that 2 million people die every year from air pollution-related causes on the Indian subcontinent. Furthermore, the amount of pollution emanating from slums and other poor areas has increased over the last ten years.
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