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A few thoughts on life in the city

Air pollution in Bangalore: A time bomb everyone loves to ignore

07 Jul 2013, Posted by Frangipani Country Estates in City vs Country

There’s danger lurking all around us in the form of cancer, respiratory ailments, premature infant deaths and other serious diseases. It is time to take note, says an IISc scientist. One of the great problems faced in urban areas throughout the world is the increase in vehicles. This has led to increase in pollution and substantial change in the composition of air and may lead to many short and long term implications on the life of plants and animals. Besides the change in composition, the pollution may directly add some poisonous and harmful gases – which may cause series of health complications. Transportation is a major source of air pollution in Bangalore, estimated to account for nearly all of carbon monoxide (CO), more than 80% of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 40% of volatile organic compounds (VOC), 20% of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and 35% of PM10 in 1998. The key question is how to reduce the adverse environmental impacts and other negative effects of transportation without giving up the benefits of transportation.

Given current trends, by 2020, Bangalore city will have a 1.3 crore population. The number of vehicles are forecasted to increase to 68.06 lacs from 41.22 lacs in 2010. Due to increase in particulate matter of air, cardiovascular, coronary heart diseases and even premature deaths among infants will take place. Several studies revealed that the effect could be several times larger if one considers longer term responses to particulate matter exposure. PM10 concentrations have also been associated with other health outcomes, including increased cases of chronic bronchitis, respiratory problems, asthma attacks, etc.