Aerosol Pollution In Bengal: What Danger Is Coming In 2023, Said Bose Institute Researchers Air Pollution: While there is a lot of buzz about Delhi’s pollution, the survey shows that West Bengal is not lagging behind in terms of air pollution. Around two crore people suffer from air pollution-related diseases every year across the country. Among them, a large part of people is from this state. Air pollution in Bengal is becoming a cause of concern. The state environment department also said that pollution level has increased in some districts of the state including Kolkata. Kolkata ranks second in pollution, after Delhi. Research at the Bose Institute has multiplied the thought. According to a research paper, in 2023, the level of airborne pollutants or aerosols will increase by 8 percent in the state, which will not be pleasant for the people of the state.
Professor Dr. Abhijit Chatterjee and researcher Manami Dutta of Bose Institute, Kolkata have published their research paper ‘A deep insight into state-level Aerosol pollution in India’. Their research paper has written in detail about climate change, the rate at which aerosol levels in the air are increasing due to human-made pollution, and how much its impact will be. Scientists claim that aerosol pollution will increase by 8% in 2023. In terms of air pollution in the country, West Bengal will be at second place after Bihar.
Among Indian cities, Kolkata and Delhi are the two cities with the most polluted air, according to a global survey. Since air pollution is invisible to the eye, it is difficult to understand the extent of its damage. Air pollution is directly responsible for many life-threatening diseases from respiratory complications to cancer, and heart disease. Mental disorders are also on the rise due to air pollution, new research suggests. Air pollution is directly or indirectly responsible for the prevalence of diseases like depression, dementia or Alzheimer’s. The toxic fumes created by the combination of airborne dust particles and greenhouse gases are not only deadly but also deadly.
What exactly are aerosols?
The amount of aerosol particles deposited in the atmosphere of South Asia has increased alarmingly, according to the study. The aerosol layer in the atmosphere of Southeast Asia, including India, has become so thick over the last four years that it has reached from the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere, to the stratosphere, the upper layer. Since aerosols are generated from the emission of toxic greenhouse gases, aerosolized pollution particles are reaching the stratosphere in large quantities. Besides PM2.5 and PM10, aerosols are made up of sea salt, dust, and organic carbon. The method of knowing how much aerosol there is in the air is called Aerosol optical depth (AOD). Two researchers from Bose Institute say that the level of these aerosols or floating pollutant particles in the air of West Bengal is 0.5, which is very harmful to human health. Now the aerosol pollution in West Bengal is in the red category.If the aerosol level increases by 8 percent in 2023, the amount in AOD will be 0.75 percent.
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Scientists say aerosol particles are created by fossil fuels, toxic gases, and smoke from factories. As greenhouse gas levels rise due to the overuse of fossil fuels, the number of aerosol particles have subsequently increased. As a result, the aerosol layer becomes very thick.
Incidentally, if the aerosol optical depth, or AOD, is between zero and one, clear skies are observed. And if it is more than one then the sky is cloudy (Air Pollution).
AOD levels can be categorized into:
1) AOD < 0.3 – Green Zone (Protected)
2) AOD 0.3-0.4 – Blue Zone (Less Harmful)
3) AOD – 0.4-0.5 – Orange Zone (Harmful)
4) AOD > 0.5 – Red Zone (Highly Harmful)
West Bengal is now waiting to cross the danger line. Dr. Abhijit Chatterjee says, “Gangetic plain pollution reaches West Bengal due to geographical reasons. In addition to this, West Bengal has become one of the most polluted states in terms of air pollution in terms of local pollution. After that, even a slight increase in the level of pollution will become extremely harmful to the health of the people living in the state.”
What are the main sources of aerosol pollution in West Bengal?
Researcher Manami Dutta says, “Vehicle-generated pollution was the major source of aerosol pollution in the state from 2005 to 2014, accounting for 40 to 42 percent of the total. Next is the dust created by the movement of vehicles. Its amount is about 18 to 20 percent. This is followed by traditional fuel systems, which account for 13 to 15 percent of total pollution. According to Manami Dutt, “Dust generated by vehicular traffic on unmaintained national and state highways and unpaved roads is a major source of air pollution.”
Between 2015 and 2019, the level of pollution produced by conventional energy systems increased by 35 percent. On the other hand, vehicular pollution has come down to 18%. Manami Dutt said, “The main reason for the reduction in vehicular pollution could be the introduction of EURO-IV cars on the roads and the upgrading of old-engine vehicles. At the same time banning the movement of vehicles more than 15 years old. But on the other hand, the amount of dust mixed in the air from the construction sites is not less. Besides, pollution is also increasing due to illegal fueling in roadside eateries or restaurants in major cities of West Bengal.”
The paper makes some specific recommendations to reduce the amount of aerosol pollution in West Bengal. According to Dr. Chattopadhyay, pollution generated from conventional fuel systems is the main cause of aerosol pollution. Due to the recent increase in LPG prices, poor people have reverted back to traditional methods of cooking with wood and coal. Also, the number of roadside eateries is increasing day by day.
Manami Dutt said that the rate of urban development in West Bengal has seen a huge increase in construction work. It is now necessary to take proper measures to prevent the spread of dust generated during construction work.