Assessment of ambient air quality in Northern India using Air Quality Index method
The present study dealt with the assessment of ambient air quality in both commercial and residential areas like Aminabad, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (IITR) Campus, Aliganj and Indranagar at Lucknow city of Northern India. The air quality was assessed based on measurement of four air pollutants like Suspended Particulate Matter (PM10), Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), and Sulphur Dioxides (SOx) and also eight heavy metals associated with PM10 and PM2.5. The results suggested that the commercial area like Aminabad has the average value 284 µg/m3 for PM10 and residential area like Aliganj has the average value 182.3 µg/m3 for PM2.5, which represented high pollution level among the four locations. In both commercial and residential area, the average concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 were obtained above National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and SOx, NOx were obtained under the prescribed limits of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), New Delhi. The calculated values of air quality index revealed that the commercial area was found to have higher AQI (122.95) than residential area (97.8). The average contribution of four (PM10, PM2.5, SOx, NOx) pollutant were obtained 31.7% in Aminabad, 25% in Aliganj, 22% in IITR and 21.3% in Indranagar. The order of metals associated with PM10 and PM2.5 were Fe > Zn > Pb > Cr > Cu > Mn > Co > Ni and Fe > Cr > Zn > Co > Pb > Ni > Mn > Cu respectively. The sources of heavy metals in this area are vehicular emission, industrial operation, combustion of waste, and construction activity of street dust particles etc.