Analyzing air quality data from the US Consulate, Smart Air found that Hyderabad’s air quality was flat in 2018 compared to last year. At this level, Hyderabad averages nearly six times the World Health Organization’s annual air quality limit.
Month by Month Analysis
Breaking down the data by month, air quality in 2018 tracked 2017 closely. However, the winter months from October to December have seen slightly better air quality in 2018.
Hyderbad Pollution Roughly Half Delhi’s
Compared to pollution leader Delhi, Hyderabad has cleaner air, at just over half of Delhi’s air pollution. Although Hyderabad’s air quality is better than Delhi, Hyderabad’s PM2.5 exceeds the World Health Organization annual limit all months of the year.
The analysis is based on PM2.5 pollution, particles smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter that can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream. Studies have shown that PM2.5 raises blood pressure, inflammation, and rates of heart attacks and strokes.
The US Consulate air quality data is open for researchers, although it is limited. It comes from only one pollution sensor in the city, and pollution can vary between neighborhoods.
The Latest Science on Air Pollution
Despite the harms of PM2.5, studies have found that wearing masks prevents physiological harm to the body, and placebo-controlled studies of air purifiers have found that removing particulate in the home has positive effects on blood pressure, inflammation, and immune response.
Smart Air provides empirically backed, no-nonsense purifiers and masks to help air-breathers protect themselves and their family. Smart Air is a certified B Corp founded to publicize the simple science behind air purifiers and masks, thereby lowering the cost of breathing clean air.
Thomas is an Associate Professor of Behavior Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and the founder of, a social enterprise to help people in China breathe clean air without shelling out thousands of dollars for expensive purifiers.