Open waste burning is frequently practiced across many global regions. In India, setting fire to piles of accumulated trash is a routine event, which occurs not only at municipal waste sites but also along roadsides and in residential areas. The contents of these smoldering trash piles include plastics, paper products, food waste, fabrics, e-waste, etc. and conditions are typically under low temperature burning with high levels of incomplete combustion. Although local trash-burning events are extremely prevalent in India, the impacts on air quality, radiative forcing, and human health are not fully understood. Our work measures trash-burning emissions characteristics and redox activity (an indicator of potential health impacts) in smoke samples collected from a distribution of roadside burn piles in Bangalore, India.
Trash-burning emissions from encountered events in Bangalore were collected onto filters (above).