What explains adoption of clean cooking fuel in India?

A new research study from ILK Consultancy (India), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and University of Washington (USA), and University of British Columbia (Canada) examined the relationship between LPG adoption/disadoption and household factors in India.

The major conclusion from the study is that change in assets and women’s empowerment can explain some of the dynamics of adoption and disadoption of clean-cooking options.

Details: Poster

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

Air Pollution during Diwali

Diwali, India’s biggest festival of the year is ~ two weeks away, and just like every year, people are getting ready for celebrating with friends and family. However, every Diwali also brings clouds of toxic smoke and dust in the form of firecrackers that people across the country burn on Diwali night.

Here is what happened in India last year:

On Diwali night, India gasped for breath

Diwali night in Delhi: 20 times more polluted, effect hangs in air

Diwali: Delhi pollution ‘hits hazardous levels’

What has research shown? 

Studies have been conducted in many cities across India including Delhi (Sati and Mohan, 2014 , Mandal et al., 2012 , Tiwari et a., 2012 , Sarkar et al., 2010), Hisar (Ravindra et al., 2003), Lucknow (Barman et al., 2008), Kolkata (Chatterjee et al., 2013), Jaipur (Prakash et al., 2013), Rajnandgaon (Ambade and Ghosh, 2013), Agra (Pachauri et al., 2013), Rajim (Nirmalkar et al., 2013), Hyderabad (Yerramsetti et al., 2013) and Nagpur (Rao et al., 2012). Everyone seems to agree that air pollution levels increase significantly on Diwali, and a majority of this increase is due to firecrackers.

Here is what some of the scientists concluded:

“Overall, we conclude that the festival of Diwali adds significantly to the existing pollution problem in Delhi, albeit for a short period of time.” (Sarkar et al., 2010)  Link to Paper 

Why is it so bad? 

Research has shown that concentrations of toxic metals (e.g. copper, barium, zinc, strontium,  increase several fold due to combustion of firecrackers (Moreno et al., 2013) and exposure to these metals is associated with severe health effects (Chen and Lippmann, 2009 , Godri et al., 2010).

“There is clearly emerging evidence that the inhalation of some metals in ambient air PM is associated with adverse health effects at concentrations near or not much higher than current ambient levels.”  (Chen and Lippmann, 2009)

Exposure to very high particulate matter (particles in the air) and gases (nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide) can cause skin irritation, a sensation of burning eyes and respiratory illnesses in the short-term, and last year, this was reported in the weeks following Diwali:

Surge in respiratory infections post Diwali

High concentrations of particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5) can also impair visibility, and we saw evidence of that in Delhi.

After-effect: Diwali pollution leads to thick smog in capital 

” The Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport Met office attributed the low visibility to pollutants released in the air following burning of crackers in Diwali.” 


This Diwali, pledge to not use firecrackers, and help keep the air clean and healthy.