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Boralkar, Dilip Bhaskar and Korde, Vijay F.; Maharashtra Pollution Control Board


Mumbai is the economic capital of India where large industrial activities and increasing urbanization are being witnessed. It has about 187 air polluting industries besides about 12,50,000 vehicles of different types. Based on the Emission Inventory carried out in the year 2000, it showed that about ten locations in the city are highly impacted due to high vehicular activities, of these at about seven locations the vehicle kilometer traveled ranged from 283590 to 975486 per day. Some of these areas are hotspots in terms of air pollutants. As traffic congestion has been increasing in the city, it is likely that it would impact the population to higher levels of various types of pollutants. Of the many pollutants, MPCB (Maharashtra Pollution Control Board) undertook the study of estimating the ambient as well as kerbside VOC levels. As VOC’s class of compounds are very reactive and are primarily responsible for ground level ozone formation by reacting with NOx leading to various health impact, the study attempted to measure the concentrations of Benzene, Toluene and Xylene. The monitoring of these compounds were carried out at Sion, Mulund, Hutatma Chowk, Mahim Junction and Dahisar naka. Some other areas such as residential areas, petrol pumps, highways and other places were also monitored. The major assumption for the BTX levels monitoring was also that the levels must be showing reducing trend due to large scale use of CNG and LPG by the buses, taxis and three wheelers. The levels recorded indicate that toluene normally is higher than benzene and xylene. Highest levels of Benzene (225.6 ug/m3) was recorded at Dahisar Naka, which is a busy traffic intersection, whereas Toluene recorded a maximum level of 1062 ug/m3 at Mulund location which has traffic as well as industries. The other locations, values were in the range of 19-160 ug/m3 for Benzene, 18-137 ug/m3 for toluene and 5-166 ug/m3 for Xylene. These higher values though are not constant and have high standard deviations. However, it is important to regularly monitor these values along with ozone monitoring to conclude the impact of these values on ground level concentrations of ozone.

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