The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) environmental profiling project has been completed aiming at the healthy environment for the citizens of AJK. The Environmental Protection Agency of AJK has been providing the logistical support and mobility etc. throughout the sampling period. The present study has a very strong focus on "Indoor Air Quality Monitoring". The monitoring has been performed at the selected locations of Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Bhimber in residential, commercial and industrial areas for ambient air. Indoor air quality has been measured in schools, houses, hospitals and industrial units of different locations of Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Bhimber.
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CHAPTER TWO: BACKGROUND:
Sources of air pollution cover a wide spectrum of sources from natural processes to man-made activities performed by human beings which are major contributors to air pollution. A threat to clean air is posed by the petrol and diesel fired machinery including generators, engines, etc. Similarly, transportation is another source of air pollution. Cooking and wood burring and other indoor activities are sources of indoor air pollution. 2.1 Ambient Air Ambient air is the outdoor air in which humans and other organisms live and breathe. The contents and quality of ambient air is directly affected by the day-to-day activities of humans. Clean air is an important prerequisite for sustainable economic development and is a basic requirement for human health and welfare. Air pollution contributes to acidification and global climate change, which have an impact on crop productivity, forest growth, biodiversity, cultural monuments and many aspects of the national economy. The primary source of air pollution is the combustion of fossil fuels in vehicles, industries, power plants, and the burning of municipal solid waste. However in AJK main sources are human activities in particular vehicular emissions, wood combustions and other domestic activities. The emissions occur from two types of sources i.e. stationary sources; and mobile sources.
The stationary sources include power plants, compressors, generators, leakages/spills of oil and gas from transmission lines and during exploration and production activities of oil and gas. Flue gases from combustion and other gas turbine processes are contaminated with harmful gases and other contaminants, which if exposed to the environment may cause deleterious effects on living beings. Mobile sources include motorized vehicles which results in the emission of a wide variety of pollutants, principally carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (Nox), oxides of Sulphur and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Such emissions have an adverse impact on the air quality and health of human beings, particularly those who are directly exposed to this pollution. 2.2 Indoor Air Pollution Indoor air is that which we breathe in our 'built' environment. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia defines indoor air as air within a building occupied for at least one hour by people of varying states of health. This can include the office, classroom, transport facility, shopping centre, hospitals and homes. Indoor air quality is infact defined as the totality of attributes of indoor air that affect a person's health and well being. Relatively little attention is paid to the kinds and levels of gaseous and particulate pollutants that might be encountered in typical indoor air environment in Pakistan. Such pollutants are emitted by wood/ dung burning and kerosene stoves, dust, and fumes from paints and chemicals used in polishing industry. There is also an increasing trend toward "energy efficient" buildings that incorporate urea formaldehyde foam insulation. Carpets and decreased ventilation rates further exacerbate indoor pollution. More than 50% of households in Pakistan still use wood/biomass for cooking. It is recognized that indoor concentrations, not only of asbestos but also of the criteria pollutants such as CO, NO2, and Particulate Matter (PM) often exceed their urban atmosphere's outdoor levels. It is a term referring to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. IAQ can be affected by microbial contaminants (mold, bacteria). Indoor air is becoming an increasingly more concerning health hazard than outdoor air. Using ventilation to dilute contaminants, filtration, and source control are the primary methods for improving indoor air quality in most buildings. Determination of IAQ involves the collection of air samples, monitoring human exposure to pollutants, collection of samples on building surfaces and computer modeling of air flow inside buildings. 2.3 AJK at a Glance The Azad State of Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) lies in the north of Pakistan covering an area of 5,134 square miles (13,297 square kilometers) as shown in Figure 1. According to the population census of 1998, the total population of AJK is 2.915 million, of which 88 percent is in rural and 12 percent in urban areas. The population density is 224 persons per square kilometer as against 164 in the rest of Pakistan. The next population census is due in 2017 to be conducted by the federal government. AJK lies between longitudes 73o and 75o and between latitudes 33o and 36o. The topography is mostly hilly and mountainous with numerous valleys and stretches of plains. A large proportion of the area is under thick forest cover, with fast flowing rivers and winding streams. The forest cover is about 566,969 hectares, which is 42.6 percent of the total geographical area of AJK. The main rivers are the Jhelum, Neelum and Poonch. Elevations range from 360 meters in the south to 6,325 meters in the north. The climate is sub-tropical highland type with an average yearly rainfall of 150 cm. AJK comprises of two divisions - Muzaffarabad and Mirpur. The Muzaffarabad Division is further divided into four administrative districts (Muzaffarabad, Bagh, Poonch and Sudhnuti), whereas the Mirpur Division is divided into three districts (Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimber) as shown in Figure 2. A total of seven industrial estates have been established in AJK, with 830 industrial units including wood works, food processing, flour mills, poultry farms, textile mills and printing presses.
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY:
In order to have baseline values of different pollutants of the area this study has been conducted. Field data on ambient and indoor air pollution was collected at the selected locations of Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Bhimber in residential, commercial and industrial areas for ambient air and in schools, houses, hospitals and industrial units for indoor air quality, by using USEPA recommended monitoring equipment.
3.1 Data Acquisition:
3.1.1 Field Measurements:
Field measurement data was collected for criteria pollutants Nitrogen Oxide (Nox), Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Particulate Matter (PM10, PM2.5), Ozone (O3) as well as along with Carbon Dioxide (CO2), VOCs [including Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl Benzene, Xylene (BTEX)], meteorological parameters, Formaldehyde, Fungal Bioaerosols, and noise levels in residential, commercial and industrial areas for ambient air of Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and Bhimber and in schools, houses, hospitals and industrial units for indoor air quality. [.].
CHAPTER FOUR: ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY STANDARDS:
This section summarizes standards and guidelines for a number of contaminants commonly found indoors and outdoors, which can be used as acceptable indoor/outdoor air quality levels. Criteria contaminants are detailed, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone, and particulates. Formaldehyde, the most well-known volatile organic compound, is also included, but recommended concentrations for other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are summarized separately recommended concentrations are provided from different agencies. In most cases, the primary objective in setting recommended limits was to minimize health risks to the general public, or to sectors of the public, such as industrial workers or sensitive individuals. It is important to note that lower limits might be needed to avoid occupant dissatisfaction, discomfort, unacceptable odors, and sensory irritation. It is also impractical to assume that maintaining contaminant concentrations below these recommended levels will guarantee the absence of all adverse health effects for all occupants. As the standards and guidelines given in Table differ in terms of the criteria used to set limits the population focused on, and the context for application, readers are strongly advised to consult the source documents before applying these recommendations.
4.1 Description of Sources:
The standards and guidelines [.] are described below.
The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) were developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act (last amended in 1990). These enforceable standards were developed for outdoor air quality, but they are also applicable for indoor air contaminant levels. The concentrations are set conservatively in order to protect the most sensitive individuals, such children, the elderly, and those with asthma. By law, these regulatory values must be reviewed every five years.
The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) developed enforceable maximum exposures for industrial environments. The standards were developed through a formal rule-making process, and the permissible limits can only be changed by reopening this process. The Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) given in Table are designed to protect the average industrial worker, but do not take into account the possible reactions of sensitive individuals (ASHRAE, 2004; OSHA, 2005).
The World Health Organization's (WHO) Office for Europe, based in Denmark, developed guidelines to be used in non-industrial settings. These guidelines were developed in 1987 and updated in 1999. They are intended for application to both indoor and outdoor exposures, but are guidelines rather than an enforceable standard (ASHRAE, 2004; WHO, 2000).
Recommended maximum exposures for industrial environments have also been developed by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). These guidelines are published in a set of criteria documents, which contain a review of relevant literature and Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs). These non-enforceable recommendations are not reviewed regularly, and in some cases levels are set above those needed for health reasons because commonly available industrial hygiene practices do not reliably detect substances at lower levels (ASHRAE, 2004, NIOSH, 2005).
The American Council of Governmental Industrial Hygienists recommends Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) as maximum exposures for industrial environments. The TLVs are set by CMEIAQ-II Report 5.1 committee, who review the existing scientific literature and recommend guideline concentrations. The recommendations are applicable for normal industrial working conditions (i.e. 40 hours a week), and for single contaminant exposure. These recommendations are guidelines, rather than enforceable standards, and are not selected to protect the most sensitive workers.
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