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Ambient Air Quality in Dhaka Bangladesh over Two Decades: Impacts of Policy on Air Quality

Category: Aerosol Emission Control Technologies and Policies

Volume: 18 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 1910-1920
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.11.0465
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Bilkis A. Begum1, Philip K. Hopke 2,3

  • 1 Atomic Energy Centre, Dhaka, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
  • 2 Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
  • 3 Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 13699, USA


Measurements of PM2.5, PM10, BC and PB have been made in Dhaka for 20 years.
Concentrations have responded to governmental action such as banning baby taxis.
Over the past decade, PM and Pb concentrations have remained relatively constant.
Additional action will be required to reduce concentrations to world health standard levels.


Samples of the fine and coarse fractions of airborne particulate matter (PM) were collected using a ‘Gent’ stacked filter unit in a semi-residential area of Dhaka, Bangladesh from December 1996 through September 2015. The site is located at the Atomic Energy Centre, Dhaka University Campus that is a relatively low traffic area. Many policies have been implemented during this period to clean the air of Dhaka. Among them, bans on leaded-gasoline and two-stroke engines were implemented, and a policy regarding green technology for brick burning is in progress. To observe the effects of the policy implementations, analyses were performed on this long-term (December 1996 to September 2015) data set of PM10, PM2.5, black carbon (BC), and lead (Pb). Annual average concentrations of PM10, PM2.5, BC, and Pb were computed. These long-term data show that the air quality of Dhaka has been stable over the past decade even though economic activity and the number of sources including passenger cars and brick kilns, are increasing.


PM10 PM2.5 Black carbon (BC) Lead (Pb) Long-term monitoring

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