Particulate Matter and Adverse Respiratory Health Outcome: Exposure of Street Vendors in Kolkata city in India

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Global Change Programme - Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India

3 Global Change Programme - Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Central European University, Nádor utca 9, 1051 Budapest, Hungary

4 Global Change Programme - Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India Department of Civil Engineering, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India

5 Global Change Programme - Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand Department of Economics, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India


Exposure to airborne particulates is a major occupational hazard especially for outdoor workers who spending time outdoors at ground level getting exposed to traffic fumes and roadside dust. Aim of this study was to assess respiratory health symptoms and determine the change of lung functions of the roadside vendors and its association with traffic-related exposures and their working experience. A cross-sectional study was conducted in key market places of Kolkata – Gariahat (GH), Esplanade-Park Street (EP), Shyambazar-Hatibagan (SH) and Behala (BE). Particulate (PM10 and PM2.5) levels and meteorological parameters (wind speed, temperature and relative humidity) were monitored in the morning, afternoon and night over the period of October 2019 to February 2020. Lung function status (FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC ratio and PEF) was measured for 111 purposively selected participants. PM concentration was observed higher in the morning and night peak hours for all sites. At SH area the average occupational exposure level for PM10 and PM2.5 were observed as 1502.22 μg/m3h and 684.01 μg/m3h. Percentage predicted FEV1 (%FEV1) of street vendors was found decreasing with their work experience and the worst-case scenario was observed in the EP area, with the corresponding value being 70.75%, 49.15% and 47.3% for less than 10 years, 10 to 20 years and more than 20 years participation respectively. The higher particulate burden was observed to have declining lung function status of the street vendors. A strong policy framework should be adopted to improve outdoor working environment for outdoor workers.


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