Men contribute more to air pollution than women: IISc study

A recent study by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has shown that men are bigger contributors to air pollution than women.

Published: 11th June 2022 05:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th June 2022 05:50 AM   |  A+A-

Representational image depicting air pollution.

Image used for representational purposes (File photo)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: A recent study by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has shown that men are bigger contributors to air pollution than women.In the study — “Understanding the mitigation potential of sustainable urban transport measures across income and gender groups” — which has also been published in the Journal of Transport Geography, the researchers observed that more women walked compared to men, and even for longer distances.

Researchers observed that in most cases, carbon dioxide emission reductions were high in high-income groups and PM2.5 emissions (emissions of particulate matter lesser than 2.5 microns) reductions were high in the low-income and lower-middle-income groups.

They also observed that the highest emission reductions were from the female groups. “Women tend to shift their mode of transport from walk to paratransit to public transportation and personal vehicles as their income levels increase. However, men tend to use personal transport more than women. Male groups contribute more to emissions due to higher number of trips, but their mitigation contribution is comparatively less than female groups. This scenario is more prominent in high-income male groups,” found the researchers.

Ashish Verma, Professor, Transportation System Engineering, Convenor, IISc Sustainable Transportation (IST) Lab, Department of Civil Engineering, IISc, which conducted the study, said transportation costs associated with mitigation policies have shown little impact on high-income male groups. Therefore, to achieve a high mitigation potential from the high-income male groups, the transportation costs of the mitigation policies and the incentives to use public transportation should be high.  

‘Women walk more, use public transport’
Since the high-income group’s value of time is high, transportation costs have less impact and so incentives should be high. Verma said women (high and low income) are using public transport. Women of higher income groups are more inclined to shift to Metro if the services become attractive and reliable and those of the lower income prefer buses because of the cost aspect. Women also walk more as the network connectivity for transport is not better linked. So to get to the public transport they prefer to walk.

The researchers also found that the travel time played a crucial role in high- income people choosing public transport. The study was aimed at evaluating the mitigation potential of eight income- gender groups to climate change mitigation policy bundles for the urban transportation sector.



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