live AQI index
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups|| 108 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 38.5 µg/m³|
|Wednesday, May 12|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 102 US AQI
|Thursday, May 13|
Moderate 92 US AQI
|Friday, May 14|
Unhealthy 157 US AQI
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 119 US AQI
|Sunday, May 16|
Moderate 84 US AQI
|Monday, May 17|
Moderate 78 US AQI
|Tuesday, May 18|
Moderate 76 US AQI
|Wednesday, May 19|
Moderate 70 US AQI
|Thursday, May 20|
Moderate 97 US AQI
|Friday, May 21|
Moderate 78 US AQI
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Sreepur is a city located in the central region of Bangladesh, part of Gazipur district which itself is found within the Dhaka division. It is home to some 126,000 inhabitants, and despite having a relatively small population, is subject to some fairly serious air pollution issues, with readings on record that place it in the upper echelons of most polluted cities worldwide. Like much of Bangladesh, air quality remains a consistent problem, with a multitude of different sources causing this, ranging from man-made anthropogenic causes, industrial causes, as well as meteorological conditions. As well as this, geographical features or urban topography can aid in large accumulations of all types of pollutants.
In late April of 2021, Sreepur came in with a US AQI reading of 153, a very high number that placed it in the ‘unhealthy’ air quality ratings bracket. This indicates that when this reading was taken, the air was permeated with large amounts of smoke, smog and other harmful chemical compounds or particulate matter.
Observing pollution readings taken in the months before the aforementioned readings, both March and April showed equally poor levels of air quality, moving in and out of the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ pollution rating back into the unhealthy one, both of which would be equally as negative on the health of its citizens, particularly when pollution exposure occurs over long periods of time. Over the course of a single day, lows of 109 were present on the US AQI scale, going all the way up to highs of 171. As such, it can be said that Sreepur has many compounded pollution issues, that will need many strong measures put into place if it is to see improvements in the following years.
Whilst the levels of air pollution taken in 2021 were still shown to be elevated, looking back over the year of 2020 in order to get a concise long term reading of air pollution levels, Sreepur came in with a PM2.5 average of 55.7 μg/m³ over the course of 2020. Whilst a few months were missing in the beginning of the year due to lack of accurate data, the months that were on record midway through the year all the way to the end were enough to give it this heightened reading. Sreepur’s yearly PM2.5 reading of 55.7 μg/m³ placed it within the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such.
As the name indicates, the air quality in many months of the year would be highly detrimental to the health of its citizens (with these more polluted months being discussed in short). This reading of 55.7 μg/m³ also placed Sreepur in 4th place out of all cities ranked in Bangladesh over 2020, as well as in 61st place out of all cities ranked worldwide, making it one of the top 100 most polluted cities for that year.
In order for such poor placings to be achieved, the many sources of air pollution present in Sreepur would typically come from sources such as vehicles, brick kilns, the open burning of garbage and waste, as well as emissions from factories, power plants and various other industrial facilities.
The vehicles present on the road are usually of the worn out or aged variety, and thus put out larger amounts of noxious gases or oil vapors than newer models would, as well as higher amounts of particulate matter. Poorly paved roads, as well as construction sites, road repairs and demolition areas, or any area that sees the disturbance of large amounts of earth, typically contribute even further to dust accumulation, which can also be blown into Sreepur from outside, depending on present wind conditions.
Going back to the measures of pollution used, US AQI is a composite taken from the main types of pollution in the air, calculated from the number of contaminants such as PM10, ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). PM2.5 is also a component used in calculating the AQI, or air quality index, but is also a potent measure of air pollution levels on its own.
It refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, starting at roughly 30% the size of a human hair and going down to widths many microns smaller. Due to this extremely small size, as well as the various materials it is comprised of, PM2.5 is extremely harmful when inhaled, hence its prominence as a measure of air quality.
Observing the data once again taken from 2020, it can be seen that the years end is when the pollution levels hit their highest. Although the first three months are missing from the air quality records, it can be seen that April and May of 2020 still had elevated levels of pollution, which dropped down further in the following months. As such, it follows the pattern that many cities in Bangladesh have whereby the pollution levels start to rise at years end and continue on well into the early months of the following year.
November and December had the most polluted air over the course of the year, with readings of 88.7 μg/m³ and 180.8 μg/m³ respectively. This placed November in the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket, and December in the ‘very unhealthy’ ratings bracket. This made December the most polluted month of the year by a significant amount.
The months of June through to September had some fairly appreciable levels of air quality, despite the huge elevations seen in other times of the year. These months all came in within the ‘moderate’ ratings bracket, which would require a reading between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ for classification. August was the cleanest month with its reading of 19.9 μg/m³.
Some health risks that may be associated with breathing polluted air over long periods of time include ones such as dry coughs, chest infections or pain, skin conditions such as acne and eczema, as well as irritation to the mucous membranes.
Other serious issues are also present, with heightened risks of strokes, heart attacks and various cancers (typically of the lungs or skin) all being a real possibility. Respiratory ailments such as pneumonia and bronchitis would also present themselves, along with ischemic heart disease.