Air Quality Index(AQI) represents quality of air. It is a metric to measure air pollution level in a location. It also helps in understanding possible health implications as per the AQI level the locality has. While AQI can be calculated for small geographical locations, for a big city, the same is calculated by taking the average of AQIs for different locations within the city. In this article, Clairco team will be covering the basics of what AQI is, AQI levels in India and finally AQI analysis for prominent locations in Bangalore measured using our air quality monitoring devices.
How Does AQI Work?
Major air pollutants include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter) and sulfur dioxide. Out of these ground-level ozone and particle pollution have maximum adverse impact on health.
AQI is calculated in the range of 0 to 500 starting with being the least harmful level to the most harmful level. Below is the division and health impact of AQI as per World Health Organization(WHO) standards. PM 2.5 is particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, PM 10 is particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter.
AQI in Indian cities
India has been consistently ranking poorly in the world in terms of Air Quality Index. In fact, 7 out of 15 most polluted cities in the world are in India with Gurugram being the most polluted at an average AQI of ~136 followed by cities like Ghaziabad and Faridabad.
The below map of India represents AQI in major cities of the country as of June 2019. As you can see most of the cities are at a level where they are unhealthy for sensitive groups.
AQI in Bangalore
While Bangalore has a relatively cleaner image for having better quality of air compared to North Indian cities, on-ground reality is very different.
These are the PM 2.5 (microgram/cubic metres) readings of the Clairco devices fixed at different locations in Bangalore and it clearly shows that Bangalore needs to take urgent action to contain these levels.
As you can see from the above data that except BTM Layout and Bannerghatta Road, all other locations are in category ‘Poor’ or more than Poor. In fact Electronic City, is touching insane ‘Severe’ category level which implies that there is a severe health impact even on light physical work in the region. And there is a serious impact on people with heart/lung diseases.
Most Polluted Roads in Bangalore
Source: Citizen Matters
This can be attributed to vast stretch of poorly built roads or no roads at all in Electronic City. Pathetic condition of roads is causing heavy particulate matter from on-ground dust and emissions from commercial vehicles choking the air. Rapid commercialization of the area with improper planning is making the location unfit for liveability. Clairco’s air quality monitoring devices can be used to continuously monitor these alarming situations and take corrective actions.
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