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|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 71* US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Jabalpur is currently 4.4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Moderate 71 AQI US
|Wednesday, Mar 6
Moderate 61 AQI US
|Thursday, Mar 7
Moderate 59 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 8
Moderate 65 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 9
Moderate 67 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 10
Moderate 73 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 11
Moderate 78 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 12
Moderate 87 AQI US
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Jabalpur is a city located in Madhya Pradesh, a state located in the central region of India, with Jabalpur being counted as one of its more major cities, having a major presence in agricultural produce as well as industrial production, focused around many types of commercial crops such as cotton or sugar cane, which are distributed both domestically as well as internationally. It has a sizeable population of over 1.26 million inhabitants, a figure taken from a 2011 census and thus will have grown exponentially since then. With a rapidly growing population, alongside large amounts of infrastructure and urban development taking place, Jabalpur would subsequently be subject to some poor levels of air quality, something that is commonplace in many cities throughout India that are undergoing their own rapid growth in all areas.
In early 2021, Jabalpur (formerly known as Jubbulpore) saw PM2.5 levels as high as 47.2 μg/m³ being recorded in late February. This reading would place Jabalpur into the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 35.5 to 55.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. Whilst there were readings that went as low as 24.1 μg/m³, it stands to reason that as an average, Jabalpur saw a majority of its PM2.5 readings come in on the higher side, and as such can be considered a city with air quality that will present significant health risks to many members of the population, some of whom will be discussed in following.
The main causes of air pollution in Jabalpur include ones such as the countless number of vehicles on the road. As an administrative center of Jabalpur district, coupled with the huge amount of industry contained within the city, there would be many people utilizing vehicles to commute. Whilst on its own this is already a negative factor in regards to the cleanliness of the air, many of these vehicles are of the aged variety and well past their best days. This can lead to large amounts of noxious oil vapors being leaked from the engines, as well as higher amounts of chemical pollutants and hazardous particulate matter, due to the poor combustion process taking place.
Other sources of pollution are factory emissions, along with industrial areas and power sites also releasing large amount of pollution due to their reliance on coal, as well as having to provide increasing amounts of energy to a growing population and thus many more homes and businesses. Other ones of relevance would be construction sites, road repairs (as well as poorly maintained roads), all of which can leak large amounts of dangerous PM2.5 and larger PM10 particles into the air. The open burning of refuse and waste is a contributing factor, as well as firewood or other organic materials being burnt in homes for the purposes of cooking.
Whilst there are no members of the general population that are truly safe from high levels of pollution, with even healthy young adults at risk for severe health issues when over exposed to contaminated air, there are certain demographics that are even more susceptible to suffering the ill effects from elevated pollution levels.
Some of these groups include ones such as young children. During the developmental phase of a child's life, excessive breathing of pollutants and hazardous materials can trigger off allergies and other similar issues such as asthma, that can then extend into lifelong health problems. It can also cause a number of physical and mental problems, with reduced lung function due to damage of the pulmonary tissue leading to a possible stunting of growth and changes in neurological function.
Other groups would include the elderly, as would be expected with the typical level of physical frailty commonly associated with certain elderly people, as well as their disposition towards respiratory illnesses and the possibly life threatening effects they can have, the elderly are another group that are also at high risk to pollution exposure in Jabalpur. Both of these are even more prominent in lower income districts, where both the young and elderly may continue to work in areas of high pollution (such as near busy roads or industrial areas), causing them to breathe larger volumes of contaminated air.
Other groups that are considered at risk are those with preexisting health conditions, as well as those with compromised immune systems or hypersensitivity to chemical pollutants. Lastly, pregnant mothers are also at high risk due to the side effects of excessive exposure to pollution during this vital period of time.
Some examples of health issues present in Jabalpur will cover ones that are generally present when people are exposed to higher amounts of pollution, although of note is that due to an individual’s disposition, negative side effects can become a possibility even at lower levels of pollution. These include instances of nausea, vomiting, irritation to the skin and mucous membranes, as well as the triggering of preexisting conditions such as asthma.
Cancer rates go up significantly, due to the carcinogenic nature of much of the fine particulate matter present in the air. All manner of respiratory issues become possible, with many of the chemical pollutants causing inflammation, scarring and rapid aging of the lungs. Besides reducing full lung function, this can also lead to an effected individual to become more susceptible to further issues such as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema.
With such a wide array of different pollutants present in the air in Jabalpur, for simplicities sake the main ones will be discussed. The large amount of vehicles in use in the city would release large amounts of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as well as sulfur dioxide (SO2), both of which can contribute to instances of acid rain, as well as having the potential to cause irritation and inflammation to the lining of the lungs. Black carbon and volatile organic compounds (VOC's) would also be found in large quantities, with black carbon making up the majority of soot, often found coating areas of high traffic. Some examples of VOC's include chemicals such as toluene, xylene, methylene chloride, tetrachloroethylene and formaldehyde.