‘Air quality in Trivandrum City is getting worse!’ – Says a new study

In a study conducted in 2009, cases of respiratory illness is high in the city, compared to other parts of the country.

The air quality in the capital city is not satisfactory, according to a study report.

As per the study conducted by state pollution control board (PCB) and NATPAC, the air quality in Trivandrum city is deteriorating. Pollutants such as particulate matter is higher than the limit set by National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQ). The presence of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide too has been found to be above normal, while nitrogen dioxide falls within limits.

The study was carried out in five locations – Ayurveda College Junction, Plamoodu Junction, Sreekaryam and Killippalam. The particulate matter of size less than 10 micrometre was found to be 209.26 microgram per cubic metre (microgram/m3) at M G Road, while the NAAQ limit is 100 microgram/m3.

Particulate matter is a mixture of solid particles like dust dirt or smoke that cannot be seen with naked eye.

Particulate matter is a mixture of solid particles like dust dirt or smoke that cannot be seen with naked eye. This can get deep into lungs and even in bloodstream and cause serious health issues. Presence of increased particulate matter would aggravate asthma and bronchitis. Continuous exposure to pollutants also causes cancer.

At MG road, the particulate matter was double the permissible limit between 6am and 2 pm and it dropped to 48.9 microgram/m3 between 2 pm and 10pm. For the same time period, the amount of particulate matter at Plamoodu Junction and Killippalam was 112.97 and 183.63 respectively. However, It was within limits at Sreekaryam – 96.19 microgram/m3 during morning and 55.72 microgram/m3 in the afternoon.

Particulate matter can get deep into lungs and even in bloodstream and cause serious health issues.

Presence of carbon monoxide too was above limits in and around MG road. Against the NAAQ limit of 4 mg/m3, MG road recorded 5 between 9 am-10 am, 5.60 between 7 pm-8 pm and 4.95 between 8pm-9pm. Carbon monoxide was within limits at the other three locations. The increased presence of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide would affect general health as oxygen intake would be less. This would also make people more susceptible to pneumonia.

The increase in number of vehicles, construction activities and burning of plastic could be reasons for increase in particulate matter and Carbon.

The increase in number of vehicles, construction activities and burning of plastic are reasons for poor air quality.

To increase the air quality of our city, burning of plastic waste must be avoided and other options should be explored to dispose of plastic. We also need to phase out old vehicles which is the main contributor of air pollution.

In a study conducted in 2009 by doctors with the support of Indian Council for Medical Research has found that cases of respiratory illness were on the rise in the city as compared to other parts of the country.

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