Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 45–58 | Cite as

Monitoring particulate matter in India: recent trends and future outlook

  • Pallavi PantEmail author
  • Raj M. Lal
  • Sarath K. Guttikunda
  • Armistead G. Russell
  • Ajay S. Nagpure
  • Anu Ramaswami
  • Richard E. Peltier


Air quality remains a significant environmental health challenge in India, and large sections of the population live in areas with poor ambient air quality. This article presents a summary of the regulatory monitoring landscape in India, and includes a discussion on measurement methods and other available government data on air pollution. Coarse particulate matter (PM10) concentration data from the national regulatory monitoring network for 12 years (2004–2015) were systematically analyzed to determine broad trends. Less than 1% of all PM10 measurements (11 out of 4789) were found to meet the annual average WHO Air Quality Guideline (20 μg/m3), while 19% of the locations were in compliance with the Indian air quality standards for PM10 (60 μg/m3). Further efforts are necessary to improve measurement coverage and quality including the use of hybrid monitoring systems, harmonized approaches for sampling and data analysis, and easier data accessibility.


India Air quality monitoring Air pollution policy WHO Air Quality Guidelines PM10 PM2.5 


Funding information

This work was financially supported by NSF SRN# 1444745 & NSF PIRE Grant #1243535. Cesunica E. Ivey at UC-Riverside and James Hite at Georgia Tech assisted with data oversight. PM10 dataset used in this analysis is available via e-mail (

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Dr. Sarath Guttikunda is one of the founders of Urban Emissions, organization releasing air quality forecasts for Indian districts on an open-access platform.

Supplementary material

11869_2018_629_MOESM1_ESM.docx (93 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 92 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pallavi Pant
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raj M. Lal
    • 2
  • Sarath K. Guttikunda
    • 3
    • 4
  • Armistead G. Russell
    • 2
  • Ajay S. Nagpure
    • 5
  • Anu Ramaswami
    • 5
  • Richard E. Peltier
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Health SciencesUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  2. 2.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Atmospheric SciencesDesert Research InstituteRenoUSA
  4. 4.UrbanEmissions.InfoNew DelhiIndia
  5. 5.Center for Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public AffairsUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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