Did Bangalore’s Air Quality Get Better in 2020?

How was Bangalore’s 2020 air quality? Did Bangalore’s air quality improve in 2020 compared to recent years? Bangalore air pollution in 2019 averaged levels nearly 4 times the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended limit for PM2.5 levels. Smart Air dove into the data to see if there was any improvement in 2020.

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Results: Bangalore’s Air Quality Improved by 19% in 2020

After analyzing Bangalore’s air quality data from the US Embassy, Smart Air found that air quality in 2020 improved by 19% compared to 2019. Despite this improvement, Bangalore still averaged about 3 times the World Health Organization’s annual limit.

Bangalore's PM2.5 pollution 2019 vs. 2020

Bangalore Air Pollution by Month

Bangalore’s PM2.5 levels were much lower in the start of 2020 compared to 2019. But the last few months of the year had air pollution levels similar to what were seen in 2019.

Bangalore's PM2.5 pollution 2019 vs. 2020

The Effect of COVID-19 Lockdown On Bangalore’s 2020 Air Quality

Bangalore saw an improvement in air quality during the COVID-19 lockdown. But Bangalore’s pollution levels started peaking in the winter. PM2.5 levels in India typically begin to rise starting in October, and remain high until March of the next year.

Bangalore's Monthly Average PM2.5

How Does Bangalore Air Pollution Compare to Delhi?

Bangalore’s air pollution averages about 33% that of pollution leader Delhi, making it one of the least polluted major cities in India. Despite being better than Delhi and Kolkata, Bangalore’s PM2.5 exceeds the World Health Organization annual limit every month of the year — even in the cleanest month.

Bangalore’s Air Quality Levels Compared to Other Cities in India

Bangalore’s air pollution averages about 33% that of pollution leader Delhi, making it one of the least polluted major cities in India. Despite being better than Delhi and Kolkata, Bangalore’s PM2.5 exceeds the World Health Organization annual limit every month of the year — even in the cleanest month.

Air Pollution in India's Major Cities

The analysis of Bangalore’s air quality is based on PM2.5 air pollution, particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter. These particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream. Studies have found that PM2.5 raises blood pressure, inflammation, and rates of heart attacks and strokes.

PM2.5 India

Open Data

As always, Smart Air is publishing the test data for all fellow data nerds (Bangalore 2020 Pollution Data).


How I Protect Myself

Despite the harms of PM2.5, studies have found that wearing masks prevents physiological harm to the body. Also using air purifiers in your home have been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure, inflammation, and immune response.

Smart Air is a certified B Corp committed to combating the myths big companies use to inflate the price of clean air.

Smart Air provides empirically backed, no-nonsense purifiers and masks, that remove the same particles as the big companies for a fraction of the cost. Only corporations benefit when clean air is a luxury.

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Smart Air is a social enterprise that creates simple, no-nonsense air purifiers and provides free education to protect people’s health from the effects of air pollution. We are proud to be the only certified B-Corp dedicated to fighting air pollution.