Air pollution in 15 areas of the city, reveals study

A recent study undertaken by students of CEPT University, that monitored the ambient air quality of Ahmedabad at 32 locations, shows that at least 15 areas in the city, including its own campus, have suspended particulate matter beyond permissible limits.

Other areas - Nava Vadaj, Kankaria Zoo, Viratnagar, Odhav GIDC, Vatva GIDC, Shahpur, Kubernagar, Dudheshwar, Kalupur, Relief Road, Vadaj Bus Terminal, Lal Darwaza Bus Terminus and Astodia - showed particulate matter below 10 microns. Areas like Andhjan Mandal, CEPT University, Kankaria Zoo, Odhav GIDC, Dharnidhar, Relief Road, Manav Mandir and Astodia have particulate matter beyond permissible levels, sized below 2.5 microns.

The air mapping was done by 17 students, who took a course on "Particulate matter: A major component of outdoor air pollution" as part of the institute's recently concluded "Winter school". They monitored the city's air quality between 9 am-5 pm or 10 am-6 pm during the three weeks between November 18 to December 10 as per the guidelines laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The selected locations were classified under "industrial", "residential", "commercial", "sensitive" and "mixed use" based on aerodynamics, population density and commercial activities in the surrounding areas. "There was high concentration of air pollution in these places. We covered around 50 per cent of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporations (AMC) wards. Winter is a critical season, as opposed to summer and monsoon, as many types of respiratory illnesses are caused due to various types of pollutants present in the air," said Dipsha Shah, assistant professor at the Faculty of Technology, CEPT University, who conducted the course.

Using standard devices like Respirable Dust Sampler (RDS) and High Volume Air sampler (HVAS), students mapped particulate matter of two types, including dust particles which are less than 10 microns and particles sized up to 2.5 microns that are not visible to the naked eye. High exposure to these particles can lead to brain strokes, lung inflammation, respiratory problems, reduced lung function, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, asthma, heart attacks and cardiovascular complications.

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