Ambient Air Quality

Ambient Air Quality refers to the quality of outdoor air in our surrounding environment. AS per MOEF Guidelines, Vijaya Enviro Labs performs operation for collecting and testing the quality of ambient air with trained staff and latest instruments.

Ambient Air Quality Monitoring is required to determine the existing quality of air. Air pollutants are added in the atmosphere from variety of sources that change the composition of atmosphere and affect the biotic environment. The concentration of air pollutants depend not only on the quantities that are emitted from air pollution sources but also on the ability of the atmosphere to either absorb or disperse these emissions. The air pollution concentration vary spatially and temporarily causing the air pollution pattern to change with different locations and time due to changes in meteorological and topographical condition.

The sources of air pollutants include vehicles, industries,domestic sources and natural sources. Because of the presence of high amount of air pollutants in the ambient air, the health of the population and property is getting adversely affected. Ambient air quality monitoring is carried out so as to generate data that meets the objectives of monitoring. Ambient air quality monitoring programme are needed to determine the existing quality of air, evaluation of the effectiveness of control programme and to develop new programme. The report aims towards developing a more uniform air monitoring network so that data from various stations is comparable. The report discusses the various aspects of air quality monitoring network such as, which pollutants should be monitored, location where monitoring should be carried out and the various techniques of monitoring. These requirements serve as basis on which objectives of ambient air quality monitoring are determined.

Ambient air quality monitoring network involves selection of pollutants, selection of locations, frequency, duration of sampling, sampling techniques, infrastructural facilities, man power and operation and maintenance costs. The areas to be chosen primarily are such areas which represent high traffic density, industrial growth, human population and its distribution, emission source, public complaints if any and the land use pattern etc.

The most important parameters in specifying Ambient Air Quality are:
• Particulate matter PM10
• Particulate matter PM2.5
• Sulphur dioxide (SO2),
• Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx),
• Carbon Monoxide (CO) etc.

Particulate Matter - Major manmade sources of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) and Fine Particulate Matter (FPM) are as follows:
(i) Emission from coal based power station
(ii) Emission from oil fired furnace/boiler
(iii) Emission from stone crusher, hot mix plants, lime kilns, foundry
(iv) Hospital waste incinerator
(v) Emission from stationery DG sets/portable DG sets
(vi) Emission from diesel vehicles ( bus and trucks)
(vii) Emission from 2- stroke vehicles (2T oil used)
(viii) Resuspension of road dust
(ix) Burning of biomass/tyre, tube
(x) Emission from waste oil reprocessing industries.

Sulphur dioxide - In a gaseous form, SO2 can irritate the respiratory system; in case of short-term high exposure, a reversible effect on lung functioning may occur, according to individual sensitivity. The secondary product H2SO4 primarily influences respiratory functioning. Its compounds, such as polynuclear ammonium salts or organosulfates, act mechanically in alveoli and, as easily soluble chemicals, they pass across the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract into the organism.
Particulate aerosol formed by the gas-to-particle formation has been found to be associated with numerous health effects.

Nitrogen dioxide - Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is an air pollutant produced in combustion processes. Whenever nitrogen dioxide is present, nitric oxide (NO) is also found; the sum of NO and NO2 is collectively referred to as nitrogen oxides (NOx). NO2 primarily acts as an oxidizing agent that may damage cell membranes and proteins. At high concentrations, the airways may become acutely inflamed. In addition, short-term exposure may predispose towards an increased risk of respiratory infection.

Carbon Monoxide - CO is the most dangerous pollutant in Air. CO effects the people through the air intake, or is produced by overheating of piston type compressors. The air intake must be placed away from engine exhaust or other sources of Carbon monoxide. Headaches, dizziness, unconsciousness and death can result from exposure to elevated CO levels.