Chennai - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?

Air quality was always decent, certainly much better than other Indian cities. That said, it's worse than the US, and I think probably was the culprit of the general malaise we dealt with throughout our time in India mentioned in the previous question. - Jan 2024

Just dusty and bad air quality, not like Delhi but enough to bug you and make things filthy. - May 2023

Air quality in Chennai is fine. Four or five bad days over two years. However, you will have a lingering smell of feces in the air regularly. No proper sewerage system. You will also have problems with drains in your house and associated smell. - Apr 2023

Terrible. The air purifiers ran all the time and show how filthy it is. The dust and filth in the houses, coupled with the mold issues, can add up, too. During the rainy season you have to run your dehumidifiers and empty often or you will get mold on your clothing and storage. Black mold may grow on your walls and ceilings and cabinets. Management had this thing about not running conditioners too much but if you turn off your a/c and come home after a long weekend away, you can already have mold growing on items due to the dampness and humidity. It's a constant struggle to keep things healthy. - Apr 2023

Polluted and stinky. - Aug 2021

Air quality is much better than in other parts of India. Some days it is worse than others but generally less than 150 AQI. During trips to New Delhi I saw it exceed 500. We don't generally have anything like that in Chennai. - Apr 2021

Compared to the rest of India, Chennai has great air quality. That being said there are days where we would not want to be outside. - May 2019

It varies throughout the year but is never great. I can usually smell the air pollution everyday. - Aug 2018

Air quality in Chennai isn't nearly as bad as in New Delhi or Mumbai, but it's still not good. It's in the unhealthy range most of the time. Many in the expat community feel generally unwell a lot of the time, likely due to poor air quality. For someone with asthma or respiratory issues, I would not recommend this post. - May 2018

If you focus only on fine particulate matter, the air is better than most places in India. But if you are looking a bit more broadly, then by some measures the air is worse the New Delhi. I had respiratory issues. Friends were hospitalized with air quality related problems. - May 2016

The air quality wavers from moderate to very unhealthy. Be sure to view all available data and not just that collected by the U.S. government. The air quality is a major issue and limits our ability to exercise outdoors, walk outdoors, or bicycle. I can taste the pollution and feel it in the back of my throat if I'm outside for more than about five minutes. - May 2016

Moderate, nothing serious. - May 2015

Chennai's air quality was not bad comparing to other cities in India. We traveled to New Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra, and we appreciated Chennai's air. During Diwali the air quality was horrible where we lived since all the local people burn firecrackers for days (day and night). - Mar 2015

OK - better than some other cities in India, but still lots of dust and vehicle pollution. - Oct 2014

Not great but better than most Indian cities. - Oct 2014

It's fine, nowhere near as bad as Delhi and probably as good as DC. - Jun 2014

Moderate. When I take a lot of autos and spend time in traffic I definitely notice it. However, for the most part, the air quality here is fine, especially compared to other large cities in India. - May 2014

The air quality is moderate to unhealthy. There is a lot of car pollution. And when it is dry, the dust is everywhere. Upper respiratory problems are common among expats. That being said, it isn't as bad as other major cities in India. The winds from the ocean seem to clear out a lot of it. - Aug 2013

The air quality is moderate. We are near the ocean, so the sea breezes clear out a lot of the pollution, but the traffic and industry is increasing in Chennai and the air quality is growing worse. - Jul 2012

Have had no problems. I understand it has the best air quality of India's Big Four cities. - Aug 2011

For the most part, the air quality in Chennai is moderate. We had no problem. Other cities in India are much worse. - Jun 2010

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More