Particulate pollution increasing in Rajasthan’s cities


As per the analysis by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the Particulate matter pollution is increasing in the cities of Rajasthan, which faces a multi-pollutant crisis with the levels of several gaseous pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and Ozone.

Key findings of the study:

  • The air quality is worsening in both big and small cities and towns despite the clean air action being taken in the State.
  • This has highlighted the systemic pollution which persists in the region because of inadequate infrastructure for pollution control across all sectors.
  • In cities like Jaipur, Kota and Udaipur, where the average 2022 levels had crossed the pre-pandemic levels.
  • As per the report, Jodhpur is the most polluted and Kota is the second among the ‘five non-attainment cities’ in the State.

Non-attainment cities are those which have fallen short of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for five years.

  • Ground-level ozone, requires monitoring to assess its build-up in local situations across the landscape.
  • The report also laid emphasis on the formulation of plans for massive clean energy transition in industry, transport, power plants and households.

What is Particulate matter (PM)?

  • Particulate matter, or PM, is the term for particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets.
  • Particles can be suspended in the air for long periods of time.
  • Some particles are large or dark enough to be seen as soot or smoke. Others are so small that individually they can only be detected with an electron microscope.
  • Many manmade and natural sources emit PM directly or emit other pollutants that react in the atmosphere to form PM.

About PM2.5

About PM10


  • It is a fine, inhalable particle, generally 2.5 micrometres of diameter or smaller.
  • PM 2.5 have small diameters but they can spread over large surface areas.
  • Due to its smaller size, the particulate matter can be drawn deep in the lungs and can be more harmful as compared to PM 10.
  • It can penetrate the lung deeply, irritate and corrode the epithelial walls and consequently impair lung function.
  • They are capable of carrying various toxic stuff, passing through the filtration of nose hair, reaching the end of the respiratory tract with airflow and accumulating there by diffusion, damaging other parts of the body through air exchange in the lungs.
  • It is an inhalable particle, generally with 10 micrometres of diameter or smaller.
  • It includes dust from construction site, landfills, agriculture, and waste burning and so on.
  • These particles settle and get deposited in the lungs.
  • The larger size of particulate matter means it gets trapped mostly in the nose, mouth or throat, causing irritation of mucous membranes.
  • The exposure of particulate PM 10 is associated with worsening of respiratory diseases like asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Sources of PM:

  • Sources of fine particles include all types of combustion activities (motor vehicles, power plants, wood burning, etc.) and certain industrial processes.
  • Sources of coarse particles include crushing or grinding operations, and dust from paved or unpaved roads.
  • Other particles may be formed in the air from the chemical change of gases. They are indirectly formed when gases from burning fuels react with sunlight and water vapour. These can result from fuel combustion in motor vehicles, at power plants, and in other industrial processes.

Why they are a cause of concern?

  • According to a study, increase in PM2.5 by one microgram per cubic metre reduces life expectancy by three weeks, which implies that such alarming increases could chop off a significant portion of one’s healthy years.
  • Particle pollution can increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer and asthma attacks and can interfere with the growth and work of the lungs.
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