TSP levels along roadsides significantly high in valley

Kathmandu, February 9

The level of Total Suspended Particulates along the roadsides in Kathmandu Valley is significantly high, as per the Department of Environment.

According to a recent report published by the department, the results of one-day monitoring for a dry day in the month of May 2017 show as high as 4749 µg/m3, which is more than 20 times higher than the national standards.

The latest annual average (June 9, 2017) at Ratnapark is as high as 526 µg/m3, which is slightly better than the previous annual averages obtained in a similar location (Putalisadak)- 728 µg/m3 in 2005, 687µg/m3 in 2004 and 677 µg/m3 in 2003. The results from 2003 to date shows that the valley is highly polluted in terms of suspended particulates, and it is visible and troublesome to see children and elderly citizen with masks on the streets.

“The smaller particles that are the real concern from human health point of view are also found significantly high. The annual averages result of PM10 and PM2.5 from the MoPE station at Ratnapark are 180 µg/m3 and 38 µg/m3, respectively,” the report reads.

PM10 is nine times and PM2.5 is 3.8 times higher than WHO guideline values. Annual averages during 203 to 2005 shows good improving trend coming down to 121 uµ/m3 in 2005 from 129µg/m3 in 2004 and 134 ug/m3in 2003, although these values are also six to seven times higher than the WHO guideline.

Ambient air quality on the roadsides of the valley exceeds the national standards more than 240 days to 310 days in a year. It is clear that the number of days with non-compliance is far too high. Of special concern are the high number of days with non-compliance at the urban residential (Thamel) and the urban background station Bhaktapur, as these stations represent the outdoor air quality that a large part of the population in the Valley is exposed to. It should be noted here that compared to WHO guideline value of 50 µg/m3, the national standard 120 µg/m3 is almost 2.5 times higher, according to the report.