What’s Polluting Delhi’s Air? Urban Emissions Blogspot

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March, 2016: Air pollution in India is an issue, and city of Delhi (its capital) is one of the most studied city with a disproportionate share of media attention as compared to other cities within India. Yet, we do not seem to have decisive answers to potentially straightforward questions such as, how polluted is the city, what are the main sources, and where to start to control pollution in the city. This is an attempt to put things into perspective with a series of opinion pieces on these questions, on what Delhi (and its satellite cities) really need to improve and really need to know, so that they can clear the tag of “the most polluted city in the world” or keep it.An earlier post in the series focused on a “call for open air pollution data” in Delhi and other Indian cities. This is the second in the series – what are the sources of air pollution in Delhi? This is the most commonly asked question and also the most confusing and unanswered question.

“…This is not an easy question to answer, but the fact remains that we have an idea based on these ambient sampling and dispersion modelling based studies, and all of them point to a certain range. On average, across the whole city

  • Vehicle exhaust is responsible for PM2.5 pollution up to 30%
  • Biomass burning (including seasonal open fires, cooking, and heating) is responsible for PM2.5 pollution up to 20%
  • Industries is responsible for PM2.5 pollution up to 20%
  • Soil and road dust is responsible for PM2.5 pollution up to 15%
  • Open waste burning is responsible for PM2.5 pollution up to 15%
  • Diesel generators is responsible for PM2.5 pollution up to 10%
  • Power plants is responsible for PM2.5 pollution up to 5%

(sum is not 100% – this is an upper estimate for all the sources).” Urban Emissions Blogspot. Read the full study on delhiair.org.

What’s Polluting Delhi’s Air?

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