|1||Loni, Uttar Pradesh|
|2||Dasna, Uttar Pradesh|
|4||Baraut, Uttar Pradesh|
|6||Durgapur, West Bengal|
|9||Daurala, Uttar Pradesh|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
City AQI based on satellite data. No ground level station currently available in Madurai.
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live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 80 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 26.2 µg/m³|
|Close your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air|
|Sensitive groups should reduce outdoor exercise|
Moderate 85 US AQI
|Wednesday, Mar 3|
Moderate 98 US AQI
|Thursday, Mar 4|
Moderate 90 US AQI
|Friday, Mar 5|
Moderate 91 US AQI
|Saturday, Mar 6|
Moderate 73 US AQI
|Sunday, Mar 7|
Moderate 84 US AQI
|Monday, Mar 8|
Moderate 81 US AQI
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Madurai is a city located in Tamil Nadu, one of 28 states located throughout India, with Tamil Nadu being situated in the southern portion of the country. It is considered as one of the major cities of the state, as well as being a cultural hub. It is also known as the ‘city that never sleeps’, and with a population of over 1 million (that will have grown significantly since its last census taken in 2011) and a large presence in the manufacturing industry, along with many higher education facilities, the city would be subject to some poorer levels of air quality as a result.
With many government educational facilities, particularly those regarding law and medicine, there would be a steady influx of students to add to the city’s population, and typically when there is an increase in anthropogenic activity, the air quality tends to take a turn for the worse due to increased energy consumption, higher vehicle ownership as well as many other factors, which will be discussed in further detail. In early 2021, Madurai came in with PM2.5 readings as high as 46.2 μg/m³, a reading that would put the city 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 classed as such. As the name indicates, the air quality in Madurai could have far reaching consequences for many people who are susceptible to illness or other health problems, and as such, the city could do much to improve the quality of its air.
Madurai has many different causes of pollution, all occurring simultaneously and assisting in bringing the PM2.5 readings up to levels far higher than they should be. One issue that has become particularly salient in recent times is that of road dust, large accumulations of finely ground soil, gravel, silica and other particulate matter (PM2.5 or PM10) that have accumulated on the roads of Madurai, causing grave health issues for those that are exposed. These dust accumulations tend to get thrown into the air when vehicles drive over them, as well as being permeated by vehicle exhaust and the chemicals they contain, creating a far more volatile mix of dust that has many negative health effects.
Badly maintained roads that have large amounts of small rocks on them and are not sufficiently paved or covered can contribute massively to this issue, which is then compounded further by the sheer amount of vehicles driving over them on a daily basis. Other pollution issues in Madurai include ones such as vehicle exhaust fumes and emissions, with countless cars, motorbikes and heavy duty vehicles such as trucks or lorries populating the road at any given time. Other sources would be factory emissions, construction sites (also a major source of dust and other toxic materials), and the open burning of refuse or waste, both organic and synthetic.
All members of the population in Madurai would be significantly affected by elevated levels of pollution in the air, with even young and healthy adults being at risk if subject to excessive exposure of poisonous chemicals, fumes and smoke. Despite this, there remains certain groups, who for reasons usually related to health, age or physical background, are even more at risk to pollution exposure. These include young children, the elderly, pregnant mothers, those with preexisting health conditions as well as those with compromised immune systems.
Children are at risk for developing lifelong conditions such as a host of different allergies, as well as other ailments such as asthma or damage to their respiratory tracts. This can contribute to delayed or poorer cognitive development due to the highly damaging effect that certain chemical pollutants can have, as well as physical growth being stunted due to damage to the endocrine system and other related bodily functions, during this vital stage of development. Pregnant mothers are particularly at risk due to the fact that excess exposure can cause cases such as miscarriage to occur, along with babies being born prematurely or with a low birth weight, all contributing factors that can raise the infant mortality rate.
Some of the most pertinent pollutants found in the air and ground in Madurai would be ones such as the previously mentioned fine particulate matter, of varying sizes and also varying degrees of danger to human health. Fine particles released from construction sites can include carcinogenic ones such as silica dust, which can also cause scarring of the lung tissues leading to reduced pulmonary function as well as increased susceptibility to conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema and asthma.
Pollutants released in large volumes from cars would be ones such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), as well as black carbon (a major component of soot) and volatile organic compounds (VOC's). Other pollutants that can be formed are ones such as ozone (O3), which is formed when the various oxides of nitrogen (NOx) come together and convert into ozone when subject to solar radiation, or sunlight.
Large accumulations of ozone are typically known as smog, and whilst it is a vital component of the upper atmosphere, can be an extremely dangerous pollutant when found on ground level. Some examples of the aforementioned VOC's include chemicals such as toluene, xylene, methylene chloride, formaldehyde as well as benzene, which also happens to have a large amount of applications as an industrial chemical, but limited use elsewhere due to its extremely toxic nature.
With dangerous elevations of air pollution present in Madurai, it is becoming increasingly important to reduce these levels, especially as there is a rapid increase in the population as well as infrastructure, bringing with it higher amounts of pollution. Some initiatives would be to gradually phase out the use of diesel fuels, or at least reduce their prevalence, as well as banning the use of unclean fuels, particularly in aged or old vehicles.
The removal of poor quality, high pollution emitting vehicles off of the road would help put a significant dent in the levels of chemical pollutants and particulate matter found on the roads. Further increases and funding put towards public transport in a bid to get people to make the switch from personal vehicles over to public ones would also help significantly in the fight against air pollution in Madurai.