Study shows air, noise pollution in Mangaluru was within limits

Study shows air, noise pollution in Mangaluru was within limits

A scientific study of pollution conducted by the city-based Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation has revealed that the period covering Diwali was largely pollution-free in Mangaluru. The study, which was conducted over four days covering pre and post-Diwali period, has confirmed vehicular and industrial pollution as the larger threat to citizen's health.

APD Foundation conducted the multi-location study in association with St George's Homeopathy. The samples for the study were collected at Alvares Road in Kadri, Gokarnatheshwara Temple Dwara in Kudroli, Land Link Township in Konchady and Pai Compound in Urva Stores. The drive was carried out on four days starting from October 16 and 17 (days prior to Diwali), 18 October (day of Diwali) and October 19 ( a day after Diwali). 'One Earth Enviro Labs', a specialised laboratory, was engaged in collecting the data and analysing the values.

This study had become significant after the apex court banned a few types of firecrackers keeping in view the noise and air pollution during Diwali. The results of the technical analysis reveals no significant increase in pollution during Diwali. "As seen from the values of both ambient air quality and noise levels in the city in the test report, it appears that the city has celebrated Diwali in a responsible way and it could be much better in the coming years," Abdullah A Rehman, Founder of APD Foundation, said.

He attributes different reasons for the positive results of the study. "This Diwali, a lot of people had taken an informed decision to avoid bursting of firecrackers as we are coming to terms with its hazardous effects on our health and the environment. There is also the fact that Mangaluru, being a coastal city, the sea breeze tends to neutralise some of the particulate matter in the ambient air quality segment," he said.

This study was undertaken by APDF to also correlate its previous Shuddha Gaali study which was piloted to emphasise the contribution of transport pollution and smoke emitting vehicles. This research determines polluting vehicles still remain the maximum polluting factor in our community. Like how each Government is focusing on making our festivals safe, it should also focus on strict regulations on smoke emitting vehicles to control and reduce pollution.

Study results

The report collated by the One Earth Enviro Labs, in respect to air quality has indicated that the sample taken on 16 October (pre-Diwali) at Kudroli Dwara was 55.99 against a standard Particulate matter of 60 at 2.5 micrometer (PM 2.5) on the scale. On another scale of particulate matter with larger diameter (PM 10) has recorded 71.74 against standard value of 100. However, there has been a significant increase in suspended particulate matter in the post-Diwali period at 327.04 SPM (Suspended Particulate Matter) against 269.58 SPM in the pre-Diwali at this location. Though the Sulphur Oxide were below detectable levels (BDL) the Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) had spiked to 10.13 from the pre-Diwali value of 9.67 which is a marginal increase considering the standard value levels at 80.

Alvares Road, Kadri recorded less PM 2.5 at 40.99 post-Diwali as against the pre-Diwali value of 49.99. At PM 10, there was a surge from 78.70 to 83.37. At this location, the Sulphur Oxides recorded 7.21 while Nitrogen Oxide was below detectable Levels on pre-Diwali sample but it was 12.89 on post-Diwali sample. On the SPM front, Alvares Road recorded the least surge from 26.35 to 59.7 in the two sample periods respectively.

The Land Links Township at Konchady was no different than the other areas in measurement of air quality during the pre and post-Diwali. At PM 2.5 the township recorded 37.49 and 24.25 respectively. At PM 10, the township experienced a marginal increase at 59.22 from 56.28. The NOx also saw a surge from 9.67 to 16.72 which is the highest in this bracket among all samples. SPM levels had gone down from 84.94 to 55.87 in the pre and post-Diwali respectively.

At Pai Compound Urva Stores, the values varied on even lines. The PM 2.5 showed a decrease in the post-Diwali period at 37.99 from 49.49. At PM 10, the values nosedived to 69.71 from 96.44. The NOx levels, however, surged from 9.00 to 16.19. The SPM levels also increased relatively from 14.72 to 26.39 during the two sampling periods respectively.

The sampling study did not indicate the presence of lead and except at Alvares Road Kadri in post-Diwali period, at all the other locations, the SOx was below detectable levels. The ambient air quality tests were conducted as per the National Ambient Air Quality standards.

Noise pollution study

Even on the noise pollution front during Diwali, the city recorded average noise pollution levels at 57.42 dB (pre-Diwali) against the standard limit of 60 prescribed by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB). An average marginal increase of 4.75 decibels was recorded post-Diwali at the four mentioned sampling locations. The average noise level in the city on October 18 and October 19 is said to be 62.17 decibels, just 2.17 decibels more than the permissible limits.

The lowest post-Diwali noise level was recorded at Alvares Road in Kadri at 59.3 decibels during peak hours while Land Links Township in Konchadi saw the highest level at 64.7 during the same period.

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