Face masks might very soon become an integral part of the lives of Bangaloreans as a study conducted by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has revealed that air pollution levels have increased by 100 per cent in the city during the last 10 years.
The pollution levels measured by the KSPCB near Graphite India in Mahadevapura for the last 130 months clearly reveal that oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) levels have increased by more than 100 per cent.
However, sulphur dioxide (So2) levels have decreased by more than 30 per cent during the same period.
Around 20 micrograms of NOx was found in the air sample when the study started 130 months ago which subsequently increased to more than 50 micrograms by the end of the study.
The RSPM levels that were around 20 to 40 particles rose to 120 particles, the study said.
Whereas the So2 levels that were hovering around 24 micrograms came down to 18 micrograms by the end of the study.
The increase in NOx levels leads to acid rain and that of RSPM leads to allergies. The KSPCB had collected and analysed the air samples in its mobile laboratory that was stationed near Graphite India for 130 months.
The pollution control board had earlier analysed air samples from the City Railway Station, Badami House, Malleswaram and Yeshwantpur and had found 42 elements including sodium, magnesium, aluminium, sulphur, silicon, calcium, chlorine, potassium, thallium, vanadium, chromium, sodium, iron, nickel, copper, bromine and lead.
According to the analysis, 42 per cent of the pollution in the city is caused by transport, 20 per cent by road dust, three per cent due to domestic activities, seven per cent due to diesel generator sets, 14 per cent due to industries and 14 per cent due to construction activity, the study said.