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India's Diesel Cars Are Proving Lethal

Exhaust from the subsidized fuel causes cancer, asthma, and more
India's Diesel Cars Are Proving Lethal
Photograph by Kuni Takahashi/Bloomberg

Molecular biologist George Easow’s move to India to start a clinical diagnostics business lasted just three weeks before he decided to give up and return to the U.K. Within days of the family’s move to New Delhi, his 7-month-old daughter, Fiona, was wheezing and gasping for air because of smog. “She could hardly breathe,” says her father.

Fiona was kept indoors and put on medication. Nothing worked. “We had to make a call,” Easow says, adding that her symptoms disappeared once they were back in the U.K. and haven’t returned. For the 16.8 million residents of India’s capital, the wheezing continues. The bad news is, it’s going to get worse.