LetMeBreathe (LMB)- #PollutionStories

Let Me Breathe (LMB) is a platform that provides space to document and tell stories of living and surviving air pollution in India. It started out as a hashtag used by Delhiites while uploading their videologs documenting their days of high pollution but over time has quickly developed into a pan India movement.

LMB combines the ethics of mobile journalism, reach of social media with public engagement at its core. Launched 7 months ago it has already reached out to more than 7. 5 million people and has generated more than 2.5 million views on stories submitted by ordinary folks. They have just launched a video series on Twitter- #PollutionStories.

LMB’s facebook and twitter page acts as a catalogue of all the videos it has received from across India. Influencers range from entrepreneurs in Delhi, Resident Welfare Association (RWA) leaders, non-profits, policy makers to people surviving pollution everyday in the ‘power hub of India’ Singrauli. Some of these stories have already been picked up by big national media houses such as NDTV, Hindustan, as well as citizen initiatives such as YouthKiAwaz.

LMB is funded by various philanthropies and grants and is open to exploring partnerships with organisations who want to work on finding solution to the problem of air pollution. According to them, all you need is a mobile phone and mic to tell a compelling stories.

The initiative now plans to hold workshops across India to talk about LMB and train people on how to use their smartphones to document cause of air pollution as well as things they do to mitigate or protect themselves from pollution.

Communities exist in Delhi, Mumbai, Gangtok, Singrauli at the moment – but they are moving to build more in Bengaluru, Pune, Chandigarh and Kolkata in the coming months.

 Twitter | Facebook | InstagramWebsite

 

Press Conference: Air Pollution in Kolkata

Kolkata Clean Air organized a press conference on March 22nd focusing on air pollution and health in the city.

Panelists included:

  1. Dr. Abhijit Sarkar- Lead Consultant, Narayana MultiSpecialty Hospital
  2. Dr. Arup Haldar – Consultant Pulmonologist, Columbia Asia Hospital
  3. Dr. Chandrakanth – Medical Oncology Narayana Superspeciality Hospital
  4. Dr. Lalit Kapoor – Cardiac Surgeon, RN Tagore Hospital
  5. Dr. PK Hazra – Cardiologist, HOD of Cardiology, AMRI Hospital
  6. Dr. Raja Dhar – Consultant Respiratory Physician, Fortis Hospital
  7. Dr. Suman Mallick – Clinical Director, Chief of Radiation Oncology, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital

Kolkata is already infamously known as the Lung Cancer Capital of the country and reports claim that breathing the polluted air, is as bad as smoking cigarettes. It has been noted that lungs of non-smokers is as bad as that of smokers due to air pollution. Raising the red alert – eminent Doctors, Air quality Experts and Environmentalists came together under the banner of Kolkata Clean Air. They shared alarming data and facts on the issue at a press conference today – claiming there is a Health Crisis unfolding in the city of Joy due to Air Pollution.

Speaking at the event Dr. Suman Mallick, Medicine, Consultant Radiation Oncology, Narayana Super Specialist Hospital said that

Air pollution is one of the most important cause of respiratory diseases and lung cancer. The City of Joy- Kolkata has not only touched the country’s capital but have also surpassed in quite a few days in terms of air pollution. Kolkata Clean Air has come forward to spread the awareness among all citizens and to work hand in hand to provide a clean and safe environment for us and more precisely for our next generation.”

Eminent doctors specializing in cardiology, pulmonary, pediatrics all echoed that – children, elderly and people working outdoors were falling in the most vulnerable categories and were getting severely affected due to pollution. Dr Arup Halder, Consultant Pulmonologist, Colombia Asia at the event questioned the city

“Do we really care for our children? If yes, then how we can allow our beloved ones to breathe poison every minute!”  

Dr. Arvind Kumar, Chairman, Centre for Chest Surgery & Director, Institute of Robotic Surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital emphasized that

“The situation is so alarming that today every child born in any urbanized & industrialized city of India smokes as many as 10-12 cigarettes a day through the pollutants present in the air. So, all the more it has become imperative to bring about a change now.”

He went onto add “The time to act is now.”

Dr.Prakash Kumar Hazra Head – Department of Cardiology, AMRI further added that

“Air pollution is causing havoc to our health and also the ecosystem of our beloved planet earth. Day by day it is increasing in severity and extent. Air pollution can change the genetic expression our next generation by epigenetic mechanism. Environmental impact can affect pregnant mother and the fetus. Irritation, difficulties in concentrating, problems with skin, eye, lung then heart takes the major burnt, other organ like brain, kidney are even not spared.”

Air pollution has become one of the largest killers in the world – responsible for 6.4 million deaths per year (1 in 9 deaths). This is three times higher than the number of deaths from AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined. India has the highest pollution related deaths according the Lancet Report.

While Delhi is considered the most polluted city in the world, but the experts were quick to point out that Kolkata’s air is just as bad as Delhi’s air quality. Dr Halder to this point added

“The emergence of fresh data suggests that air quality in Kolkata is as worse as Delhi with the possibility of being more detrimental due to unplanned urbanisation and vulnerable climates.” 

Dr Dhar , further added  that,

The air pollution in Kolkata is often worse than that of Delhi. The air quality in Kolkata is mainly related to diesel exhaust which results in respiratory particulate matter (RPM) of smaller particle size compared to the RPM in Delhi which is mainly a result of crop stubble burning. This results in far more acute severe asthma cases being admitted during the winter season as compared to anywhere else in the country.”

The doctors explained that air pollution is of two parts- particulate matter or gases. Particulate Matter PM (10) affects lungs and Particulate matter PM (2.5) affects heart and brain. Gases like SO2, NO2 and ozone cause damage to the lungs.  Dr. Tapan Kumar Biswas, State President, IMA Bengal State pointed out that

“PM 2.5 is the main cause for serious issues like COPD, pneumoconiosis, and lung cancer, allergic rhinitis. Air pollution affects everyone, primarily the elderly and children with bronchial asthma.”

Reports suggest that 47% Kolkata’s suffer from lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) and air pollution is resulting in life expectancy in Bengal dropping by 6.1 years . The cases of lung cancer is the highest in Kolkata and doctors attributed a large portion of the same to air pollution, Dr Raja Dhar , Respiratory Medicine, Consultant Pulmonologist, Fortis Hospital “ A study by CNCI has also identified Kolkata as being the Cancer capital of the world. This is due to a combination of smoking and air pollution. A joint study by CNCI, WBDE & CPCB has found that around a whopping 70% of people in the city of Kolkata suffer from respiratory disorders caused by air pollution.“  Dr Chandrakanth MV, Medical Oncologist, Narayana Hospitals emphasised that “Every cell of our body breathes, multiplies and lives due to the air surrounding us. When air is contaminated, our body faces problems. Respiratory diseases like COPD, interstitial lung disease. It also increases the risk of lung cancer, head and neck cancer, bladder cancer and blood cancer. “

What is Kolkata Clean Air

Kolkata Clean Air is a citizen driven initiative with a vision for Kolkata to be one of the Most Live-able and Climate Friendly city in the World. Citizens from various walks of life and professions have came together to find solutions to air pollution. Kolkata Clean Air has installed two air monitor devices in the city at Moulali and Ballygunj, to assess the air quality. It was found that out of the 35 days recorded between Jan and March – 69% of the days, Kolkata Air quality was reported as very poor, with max AQI ranging between 300 and 400. And it was found 17% of the days reported severe levels of pollution, even touching the 500 AQI mark! The acceptable limit of AQI is under 50. In any other country such alarming levels of air quality would have led to an emergency – and led to citizen alerts, and avoidance of all outdoor exertions.

Since coming together on the 28th of January, hundreds of children and active citizens from all walks of life marched and cycled across Kolkata with air pollution masks on their faces. Through the Kolkata Book Fair Kolkata clean air team collected over 20 thousand signatures and pledges. At the event Kolkata Clean Air also launched a missed call (9289220740) campaign to take pledges of citizens.

At the event the experts pointed out that vehicular pollution especially Diesel-run taxis, buses and trucks contribute substantially to Kolkata’s air pollution, and in addition to that construction activity and open burning of municipal waste cause pollution contribute to the every increasing air pollution of the city.

 

Air experts demanded that air quality monitoring stations be setup across the city and a Source Based Action Plan for Abatement of Air pollution be put in place like other cities and countries have done. In addition to this the city should strongly act against offenders driving polluting vehicles, burning trash or construction sites not using permeable sheets. The group felt that it was imperative for the city to formulate and Implement a comprehensive mobility plan with an integrated multi modal public transport plan keeping Electric vehicle at the centre of the plan. Dr.Sushmita Roychoudhuri. Consultant Pulmonologist Apollo Gleneagles said that

“Polluting air today, pollutes lungs tomorrow and imperils lives the day after. We have to stop polluting our air together today to ensure a safer tomorrow.”

All doctors all agreed that a clean environment will be the best investment for our children and urged urgent action.

The experts agreed that sweeping lifestyle changes and bold policy changes are required.  The positive thing though is that there is Technical and economical feasible solutions to control air pollution are already with us. They have effectively been implemented in many countries and these countries have substantially reduced their air pollution by implementing the same. Kolkata has always been the thought leader and can again take the lead to save its citizens and show the path to other cities in India and other parts of the world.

 

Courtesy of Mr. Ajay Mittal, Kolkata Clean Air [cross-posted from Kolkata Clean Air] 

Find Kolkata Clean Air on Twitter and Facebook

When Air Quality Meets Cricket

“..the first time in international cricketing history that players were seen wearing face masks on the field and the play was held up due to pollution concerns.”

During the cricket match between India and Sri Lanka, players entered the field with face masks, and at one point, the game was interrupted. This was the first time in the history of cricket that a match had been disrupted due to air pollution (#facepalm).

ind-vs-sl-players-mask-tweet-759

Source: http://bit.ly/2ASZuPm

Media coverage on the issue: 

Sri Lankan players struggle due to Delhi pollution; wear face masks at Feroz Shah Kotla 

Pollution stops play at Delhi Test match as bowlers struggle to breathe 

 

This wasn’t the first sporting event that was in news for air pollution! Earlier in November, there was lot of debate and discussion regarding the 2017 Delhi Half-Marathon, and ultimately, the event was held.

“My eyes are burning, my throat is dry. I have a running nose.” – Rohit Mohan, a participant in the Delhi Half-Marathon who ran with a mask

Read more about the Delhi Half-Marathon

The Runners Racing Through Delhi’s Smog 

What is the big deal in playing/running/jogging/biking under poor air quality? 

Breathing rate is higher during physical activity which can lead to an increase in the amount of air pollutants inhaled by an individual. In addition, some individuals will breathe through the mouth, and bypass the filtration through the nose.

In fact, a global study reported that only 1% of cities in world have such high levels of pollution that the activities could prove detrimental to health. And guess what? In Delhi, the tipping (the length of time after which there was no further health benefit) and break-even (when the harm from air pollution began to outweigh the health benefit) points for cycling were 30 and 45 minutes per day respectively, while for walking they were 90 minutes and six hours and 15 minutes respectively.

A story from NPR last year focused on the dilemma faced by a triathlete in running under high air pollution.  [Listen to the NPR story ]

What should you do if air quality is poor? 

  • Move physical activities indoors
  • Engage in less intense forms of exercise (e.g., walking instead of jogging)
  • Shorten the amount of time you are active

References

Air Quality and Physical Activity: What You Need To Know 

 

Newsletter_June/July 2017

Great news! You can now search for media stories at Air Quality in India’s media database. Click here for details, and spread the word! Do you have any tips for finding regional media stories on air pollution? Share them with me, so I can expand the database. 🙂

The literature database is also slowly moving to the same platform. If you have ideas or suggestions, please get in touch via e-mail or Twitter.

Read the newsletter online here 

Newspaper  Articles 

[1] U.S. EPA and OpenAQ air quality data now available in BigQuery  http://bit.ly/2v0K3hC  [Here is a profile of OpenAQ from the archives]

[2] Combating Air Pollution in North India: The Path Forward http://bit.ly/2s4qtz6

[3] ISM to submit details of pollution control measures http://bit.ly/2tUmk2t

[4] Operations at 12 Sonshi mines remain suspended http://bit.ly/2roIaZv

[5] Experts Debate Way Ahead For Environmental Regulations in India http://bit.ly/2tU6dCi

[6] Diesel vehicle emissions could be twice as much as what companies claim, says study http://bit.ly/2tBWOhX

[7] Behind India’s cheapest eco-stove http://bit.ly/2rTlWiv  [Website]

[8] 10 लाख तक की आबादी वाले हर शहर में होगी अब वायु प्रदूषण की ऑनलाइन निगरानी http://bit.ly/2tuvReY

[9] Bosch unveils air quality monitoring system http://bit.ly/2uF4orW

[10] Concrete may help curb air pollution http://bit.ly/2t8cubm

[11] Low-Cost Nanosensors by IISc Can Help Monitor Air Pollution While Saving Time! http://bit.ly/2tYOXhv

[12] The CHAI Project http://bit.ly/2tbMuRa  [Video] [Website]

[13] Energy/Power

India, Once a Coal Goliath, Is Fast Turning Green http://nyti.ms/2rNIy8p

Ease of getting power: India’s rank up by 73 http://bit.ly/2r7x0sT

India’s air pollution could decrease solar power generation by 17%, study says http://bit.ly/2u4PED7

In India, critics assail proposal to build 100 waste-fueled power plants http://bit.ly/2uiYTTj

[14] Bharat Stage Standards

Impact of BSVI roll out on Indians victim to hazardous air quality http://bit.ly/2vm9h9A

[15] Niti Aayog forms four task forces, seeks roadmap to reduce pollution http://bit.ly/2uoxkbo

[16] National Green Tribunal [NGT] 

Set up panel to study harmful effects of petcoke: NGT to MoEF http://bit.ly/2rvBwVE

NGT asks MoEF to clarify stand on banning charcoal as fuel  http://bit.ly/2raMtc2

Finalise emission norms for diesel locomotives: NGT to MoEF http://bit.ly/2rvGJwM

[17] Karnataka

Why Bengaluru may never top India’s cleanest cities list http://bit.ly/2pNvtdr

Air Pollution: Bengaluru Going The Delhi Way? http://bit.ly/2sgEMQs [Video]

[18] Tamil Nadu

Toxic Air From Industrial Units Set up Away From Chennai’s Affluent Is Literally Blowing Back http://bit.ly/2tRzFuj

Coming, zonal office of pollution board in Nellai http://bit.ly/2tczgUB

[19] Haryana

Despite real-time monitoring, no data on Gurgaon’s air quality for 10 days http://bit.ly/2unUuxX

Gurgaon’s second pollution monitor at Cyber City http://bit.ly/2uiAdKt

Gurugram’s air worse than Delhi’s most polluted areas http://bit.ly/2qu4MZq

Gurugram: Dust, gensets make May most polluted month of 2017 http://bit.ly/2tnLBR2

Dust storms raise pollution levels in Gurugram http://bit.ly/2qq3Bw2

Alarmed over poor air quality, Gurgaon schools install purifiers http://bit.ly/2rgV402

[20] Uttar Pradesh

Lucknow more polluted than Kashi: CAG http://bit.ly/2rYLvPw

In this UP village, stone quarries are the only source of livelihood – but they’re taking lives http://bit.ly/2sFX0vH

[21] Goa

Goa raises voice against coal pollution in public hearing http://bit.ly/2r2uLcy

[22] Delhi NCR

After 9 months of pollution, Delhi has a ‘good’ air day on Thursday http://bit.ly/2tovIJY

What It’s Like to Live in the World’s Most Polluted City http://bit.ly/2tbDcok

ARAI, TERI study ambient air quality in Delhi and NCR http://bit.ly/2s9OzJd

Dwarka e-way tops pollution study chart http://bit.ly/2unB5x1

Badarpur coal-fired power plant to shut by July 2018: EPCA http://bit.ly/2q7uK4d

Delhi, NCR hit alarming levels of Ozone pollution; 77 percent of days in May exceed CPCB prescribed limits http://bit.ly/2tbWxWt

Noida gets its first automatic air ambient quality monitoring station  http://bit.ly/2rAnyhi

Great Delhi Smog of Nov 2016 may have caused deaths: Experts http://bit.ly/2q7YHAS

Delhi has more than one crore registered vehicles, data reveals http://bit.ly/2unqwuf

Delhi breathed easier from January to April http://bit.ly/2vlKAdn

Delhi residents are ready to change their ways to combat air pollution. Yes, really http://bit.ly/2sT0eNe [Video]

Delhi to get 20 new pollution monitoring stations by October this year http://bit.ly/2s9ajpg

Ban on burning waste to keep city’s air clean http://bit.ly/2unXsmm

Delhi air pollution study: Forget peak hour, now Nitrogen oxide level spikes to unacceptable levels throughout the day http://bit.ly/2sZlGzO

एनसीआर में वायु प्रदूषण कम करने के लिए हुआ मंथन http://bit.ly/2usEk6o

[23] Kerala

Over 80% schools in Kerala still use firewood http://bit.ly/2tbgo8v

[24] Bihar

Winter air quality in Patna was worse than Delhi http://bit.ly/2qqgIh3

[25] Gujarat
Sensors to monitor Rajkot’s air quality http://bit.ly/2rRcejz

Gujarat Environment Management Institute to fund 35 studies each year http://bit.ly/2r9INGC

SAFAR (System for Air Quality Forecasting and Research) launched in Ahmedabad! [More about SAFAR]
Union minister Harsh Vardhan launches ‘Safar-Air’ Ahmedabad services http://bit.ly/2tSowtj

India’s first air pollution warning system in Ahmedabad hopes to reduce deaths, health hazards http://bit.ly/2v1cuMt

SAFAR to monitor air quality in Ahmedabad http://bit.ly/2mgkpjK

India’s first early warning system in Ahmedabad aims to reduce health impact of air pollution http://bit.ly/2riXOqz

Ahmedabad gets air quality monitors to battle pollution http://bit.ly/2uiJemW

What to believe? Air pollution data on LED screen not in sync with app  http://bit.ly/2r9NIYr

Suhana Safar at Pirana! http://bit.ly/2vml0VG

The launch also prompted some fierce discussions on why Delhi couldn’t do this:

Delhi failed where Ahmedabad scored: Why capital is not able to ‘close pollution loop’ http://bit.ly/2re9UTv

[26] Maharashtra

What are you breathing today in Maharashtra? http://bit.ly/2rsGQYD

Burning trash along road causing pollution http://bit.ly/2rTjUPM

Star Power: Maharashtra Starts Rating Industries By Emissions http://bit.ly/2sGH2UC ; http://bit.ly/2unFWhZ

[27] Himachal Pradesh

Air quality in Shimla, Manali declines due to tourist influx http://bit.ly/2vlSi7F

[28] Telangana

Hyderabadis rank city as most polluted place to live http://bit.ly/2vmmhfo

Journal Articles 

[1] Impact of agricultural emission reductions on fine particulate matter and public health
Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Link: http://bit.ly/2q9rNkn

[2] Association of atmospheric pollution and instability indices: A detailed investigation over an Indian urban metropolis
Journal: Atmospheric Research
Link: http://bit.ly/2uiyHID

[3] AOD distributions and trends of major aerosol species over a selection of the world’s most populated cities based on the 1st version of NASA’s MERRA Aerosol Reanalysis
Journal: Urban Climate
Link: http://bit.ly/2stMCru

[4] A Comparative Study on Fog and Dew Water Chemistry at New Delhi, India
Journal: AAQR
Link: http://bit.ly/2tokGEv

[5] Size-segregated particulate matter and its association with respiratory deposition doses among outdoor exercisers in Dhanbad city, India
Journal: Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Link: http://bit.ly/2sjwlsB

[6] Modeling of air pollutants using least square support vector regression, multivariate adaptive regression spline, and M5 model tree models
Journal: Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health
Link: http://bit.ly/2unPF7I

[7] Indoor air quality of non-residential urban buildings in Delhi, India
Journal: International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment
Link: http://bit.ly/2tUJnKV

[8] Assessment of spatio-temporal variations in air quality of Jaipur city, Rajasthan, India
Journal: The Egyptian Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Science
Link: http://bit.ly/2uiCeGF

[9] Biomass burning in Indo-China peninsula and its impacts on regional air quality and global climate change-a review
Journal: Environmental Pollution
Link: http://bit.ly/2tc5XBj

[10] High ozone episodes at a semi-urban site in India: Photochemical generation and transport
Journal: Atmospheric Research
Link: http://bit.ly/2ushw7Q

[11] Development of driving cycles for passenger cars and motorcycles in Chennai, India
Journal: Sustainable Cities and Society
Link: http://bit.ly/2tbUCkK

[12] Integrated assessment of exposure to PM2.5 in South India and its relation with cardiovascular risk: Design of the CHAI observational cohort study
Journal: International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
Link: http://bit.ly/2unGbK1

[13] Predictors of Daily Mobility of Adults in Peri-Urban South India
Journal: International Journal of Environmental Health and Public Health
Link: http://bit.ly/2usklFK

[14] Organic aerosols over Indo-Gangetic Plain: Sources, distributions and climatic implications
Journal: Atmospheric Environment
Link: http://bit.ly/2lTh0vN

[15] Characterization, sources and health risk analysis of PM2.5 bound metals during foggy and non-foggy days in sub-urban atmosphere of Agra
Journal: Atmospheric Research
Link: http://bit.ly/2unhq0j

[16] First results from light scattering enhancement factor over central Indian Himalayas during GVAX campaign
Journal: Science of The Total Environment
Link: http://bit.ly/2tonWzH

[17] Producing a CO2-neutral clean cooking fuel in India – Where and at what cost?
Journal: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Link: http://bit.ly/2sZDHxU

[18] Modal analysis of real-time, real world vehicular exhaust emissions under heterogeneous traffic conditions
Journal: Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Link: http://bit.ly/2v0ZNBg

[19] Household air pollution and under-five mortality in India (1992–2006)
Journal: Environmental Health
Link: http://bit.ly/2uiEA8s

[20] Compositional and surface characterization of HULIS by UV-Vis, FTIR, NMR and XPS: Wintertime study in Northern India
Journal: Atmospheric Environment
Link: http://bit.ly/2uo3bbL

[21] Impacts and mitigation of excess diesel-related NOx emissions in 11 major vehicle markets
Journal: Nature
Link: http://go.nature.com/2rUJd4I

[22] Temporal Characteristics of Brown Carbon over the Central Indo-Gangetic Plain
Journal: Environmental Science and Technology
Link: http://bit.ly/2usBK1g

[23] Chemical composition of fine mode particulate matter (PM2.5) in an urban area of Delhi, India and its source apportionment
Journal: Urban Climate
Link: http://bit.ly/2uiX3Sv

[24] Assessment of interstate freight vehicle characteristics and impact of future emission and fuel economy standards on their emissions in India
Journal: Energy Policy
Link: http://bit.ly/2tSBmaO

[25] Asthma Insights and Management in India: Lessons Learnt from the Asia Pacific – Asthma Insights and Management (AP-AIM) Study
Journal: Journal of The Association of Physicians of India
Link: http://bit.ly/2toyor3

[26] Spatio-Temporal Variation and Futuristic Emission Scenario of Ambient Nitrogen Dioxide over an Urban Area of Eastern India Using GIS and Coupled AERMOD–WRF Model
Journal: PLOS One
Link: http://bit.ly/2usA08c

[27] Asthma Insights and Management in India: Lessons Learnt from the Asia Pacific – Asthma Insights and Management (AP-AIM) Study
Journal: Journal of The Association of Physicians of India
Link: http://bit.ly/2toyor3

Audio-visual resources 

[1]Air Pollution and Mortality http://bit.ly/2urZSAX [Video]

[2] Deadly Impact of Airborne Particles http://bit.ly/2uiSyr4 [Video]

[3] Arie Jan Haagen-Smit and the history of smog http://bit.ly/2tbOmcV

Data on exposure to air pollution inadequate

“Data from developed countries is not readily translatable in the Indian context due to differences in source types, as well as lifestyle. Much of the research has focused on large cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata), and there is little ambient or indoor pollution data for smaller cities and towns. Characterisation of pollutant concentrations in urban areas is important since smaller cities and towns often lack public transportation options, and in many cases, fuel quality is poor. Due to haphazard urban growth, a large number of people live in close proximity to mobile, as well as point, pollution sources, increasing the risk of exposure to harmful pollutants. “

Read the full article here and research article here.

 

Reducing Exposure to Pollutants Can Maximise Health Benefits

Exposure to air pollutants can happen through two major routes – personal exposure to ambient or indoor air pollution during our day-to-day activities, and occupational exposure at the workplace. For example, consider the daily activities of a courier delivery executive, and an office worker – inevitably, the delivery executive will likely spend long hours on the road while the office worker will be inside a building, and while both will be affected by the ambient air, exposure level can be significantly different depending on road pollution levels and air quality inside the office.

There are many outdoor and indoor sources of air pollution that can contribute to pollutant exposure, including vehicles, industries, power plants, open waste burning, construction and generators in outdoor environments, and cooking, use of fuels such as wood, dung and coal inside houses, incense/candle burning, smoking and use of consumer products (deodorants, air fresheners, sprays etc.) inside buildings. Many research studies have shown very high levels of particles inside homes in India, although it is important to note that a majority of these studies were conducted in houses where solid fuels are used.

This article was first published on www.thequint.com

Read more here and here.