Assessment of Ambient Air Quality in Urban Centres of Haryana (India) in Relation to Different Anthropogenic Activities and Health Risks
Considering the mounting evidences of the effects of air pollution on health, the present study was undertaken to assess the ambient air quality status in the fast growing urban centres of Haryana state, India. The samples were collected for total suspended particulate matter (TSPM), respirable suspended particulate matter (PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and for oxides of nitrogen (NO2) during different seasons from 8 districts of Haryana during January, 1999 to September, 2000. The four types of sampling sites with different anthropogenic activities i.e. residential, sensitive, commercial and industrial were identified in each city. The ambient air concentration of TSPM and PM10 observed was well above the prescribed standards at almost all the sites. The average ambient air concentrations of SO2 and NO2 were found below the permissible limits at all the centres. Comparatively higher concentration of SO2 was observed during winter seasons, which seems to be related with the enhanced combustion of fuel for space heating and comparatively stable atmospheric conditions. Air Quality Index (AQI) prepared for these cities shows that residential, sensitive and commercial areas were moderately to severely polluted which is a cause of concern for the residents of these cities. The high levels of TSPM and SO2 especially in winter are of major health concern because of their synergistic action. The data from Hisar city reveals a significant increase in the total number of hospital visits/admissions of the patients with acute respiratory diseases during winter season when the level of air pollutants was high.