Exclusive! 50% of Bangalore’s air pollution caused due to dust

A study by Teri found that dust was responsible for 50 per cent of city’s air pollution

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If you are suffering from dust allergies, then Bangalore is the last place you should be living in. A study conducted by The Energy Research Institute (Teri) has found that 50% of Bangalore’s air pollution is caused due to dust.

The study, conducted over the last three years, tested air pollution in seven areas of the city. “We did two different types of studies on the said topic. The first one was the source of pollution. It is in this study that we found that over 50% of air pollution in Bangalore is caused by dust,” said Sumit Kumar Gautam, Associate Fellow, Earth Science and Climate Change, Teri. The study was conducted in association with the IIT Bombay and considered 80 different pollutants. “Mercury, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, iron, lead, methane, ethane, naphthalene, and some elemental organic carbons were considered for the study,” he said.

Silk Board Junction, Victoria Road, Kajisomanna Halli, Peenya, Domlur, Nimhans and Kammanahalli were some of the locations for the study. “We tested during summer, monsoon and winter for three years and found that dust was the main cause of pollution in Bangalore. The other pollutants were Sulphur and lead. But dust constituted almost 50% of the pollution caused in the city,” he said.

Teri is now considering tying up with Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to come up with solutions to dust-related pollution in the city.

Dust allergies are high during the winters. This means that those allergic to dust must take precautions now. “Dust mites and allergens are active in this season. It is advised that people allergic to dust do not expose themselves to the early morning fog which carries these allergens,” says Dr Durga Prasad, a general physician in Indiranagar.

Covering the face with a scarf and inhaling steam in the morning and at night help those with dust allergies. “If you have teary eyes and itchy nose, the best remedy is to take in steam. But if it persists, go to a doctor,” he says.

Dr H Paramesh, medical director, Lakeside Medical Centre and Hospital, says dust coming from petrol and diesel products is less than 2.5 microns and can cause lung inflammation, asthma and bronchitis. Besides, among senior citizens with lesser immunity, these can pass through respiratory tracts and could cause cardiac arrest.

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