Info-tech

Environment start-up Ambee launches website that provides real-time, hyperlocal air quality data

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on October 29, 2019 Published on October 29, 2019

Ambee, an environment intelligence start-up, has launched indianpollution.com, a website that provides real time, hyperlocal air quality data.

Ambee has installed 100 sensors across Bengaluru with over 500 sensors being installed across India. The sensors measure air quality, particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, temperature, humidity and other environmental factors. In addition to proprietary sensor data, Ambee uses multiple sources of satellite imagery, government pollution data from across the world, meteorological data, and every open-source air pollution data currently in existence. The data is processed using Ambee’s proprietary intelligence methods.

Pollution deaths

“Every year over nine million deaths worldwide are due to air pollution. Our research reveals that air pollution is definitively linked to multiple forms of cancer, heart disease, breathing disorders, blood pressure and others such as birth defects, cognitive disabilities and accelerated brain damage. Unfortunately, most people are unaware about the impact of air pollution on their health,” Akshay Joshi, CEO and Co-founder, told BusinessLine.

“As the famous quote goes, we can only improve what we can measure. Our goal is to provide real-time air quality data to everyone and spread awareness among people about the state of the world we live in,” added Joshi.

Worst affected

Ambee’s analysis of recent air quality data across cities such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Mumbai from September 23 to November 1 reveals that the air quality index (AQI) in these cities gradually deteriorates and hits its worst levels on October 29 and 30, but improves on November 1. The AQI is a measure of air quality computed by taking into account major air pollutants such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

AQI in Delhi indicates hazardous levels of air pollution in more than 30 areas with numbers averaging between 300 and 400 AQI for the last month. Post Diwali, Ambee predicts a 45 per cent increase in PM 2.5, a carcinogenic pollutant that the human body has no immunity against. In the next one week, with increase in stubble burning, AQI in some areas can go up to 500, indicating hazardous levels of air quality in the national capital.

However, Mumbai, on the other hand, will have safe-to-moderate levels of AQI due to continued rains and PM 2.5 will remain within safe limits in most parts of the city. Likewise, in Hyderabad, due to pre-Diwali showers in some parts of the city, there was considerably lower pollution levels compared to other cities. However, AQI in Hyderabad will average between 120 and 150 for the entire month due to vehicular traffic and industrial pollution.

Over the last month, AQI in Bengaluru has averaged between 80 and 120, which is about 2.5-3.5 times above the desired range of 0-50, with satisfactory levels going up to 100. Although rain reduces PM 2.5 count, it has little or no impact on the gaseous pollutants such as CO, SO2 and NO2.

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Published on October 29, 2019
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