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   Atmósfera 23(4), 347-365 (2010) Air pollution from reworks during festival of lights (Deepawali) in Howrah, India - a case study B. THAKUR   Department of Civil Engineering, Meghnad Saha Institute of Technology, East Kolkata Township,  Kolkata-700107, West Bengal, India Corresponding author: CHAKRABORTY  Department of Sanitary Engineering, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata-700073, West Bengal, India Public Health Engineering Directorate, Government of West Bengal, 1 Kiran Shankar Roy Road,  New Secretariat Building, Kolkata-700001 A. DEBSARKAR, S. CHAKRABARTY  Department of Civil Engineering, Jadavpur University, Kolkata-700107, West Bengal, India R. C. SRIVASTAVA  Department of Sanitary Engineering, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health,  Kolkata-700073, West Bengal, India Received September 22, 2009; accepted July 30, 2010RESUMENLa actividad de “pirotecnia” durante las celebraciones festivas locales pueden causar una contaminación del aire intensa y a corto plazo. Deepawali (esta de la luz) es una esta anual que se celebra en la India durante los meses de octubre o noviembre, con gran actividad en la atmósfera de fuegos articiales. La concentra-ción de contaminantes atmosféricos tales como SPM (partículas en suspensión), PM 10 , PM 2.5 , SO 2  y NO 2  fue monitoreada durante seis días consecutivos en Salkia, una zona densamente poblada y residencial, cerca de Calcuta en la India, con el n de evaluar el impacto que los fuegos articiales presentan sobre la calidad del aire. Las concentraciones de contaminantes registradas fueron varias veces superiores a lo habitual con referencia a un típico día de invierno (6.44 veces superior para SPM, 7.16 veces para PM 10 , 5.35 veces para PM 2.5 , 1.73 veces para SO 2  y 1.27 veces para NO 2 ). Los resultados han mostrado la gran aportación que los fuegos articiales generan en los niveles de concentración de los diferentes contaminantes atmosféricos. Las concentraciones de partículas superaron ampliamente sus respectivos valores normales, en promedio de 24 horas, (11.6 veces para SPM, 22.3 veces para PM 10 , y 34.3 veces para PM 2.5 ). Además se midieron concentraciones de metales tales como Ba, Cu, Cd, Pb, Hg, encontrándose un intenso incremento en sus valores promedios diarios con respecto al día anterior (56.72, 79.00, 16.67, 14.86, 12.00, 6.26 veces respec-tivamente). El probable impacto sobre la salud de los habitantes de la zona de análisis debido al incremento de los contaminantes atmosféricos, a pesar de ser un episodio de corta duración, se estima mediante una  348 B. Thakur et al. simulación de Monte Carlo con la determinación del índice de riesgo relativo respecto de la mortalidad y morbilidad en los individuos expuestos y resultó ser sumamente alto. Finalmente se sugiere realizar algún tipo de control o disminución de los fuegos articiales durante estas celebraciones, con el n de disminuir los riesgos en la población. ABSTRACTFireworks display during festive celebrations can cause acute short term air pollution. Deepawali –the fes-tival of light– is celebrated in India, every year during October or November with great reworks display. Concentration of air pollutants such as SPM (suspended particulate matter), PM 10 , PM 2.5 , SO 2  and NO 2  were monitored for six consecutive days during Deepawali in Salkia, a densely populated residential area near Kolkata, India, for assessing the impacts of reworks on ambient air quality. The pollutant concentrations as recorded on Deepawali were found to be several times higher (6.44 times for SPM, 7.16 times for PM 10 , 5.35 times for PM 2.5 , 1.73 times for SO 2  and 1.27 times for NO 2 ) compared to a typical winter day value. The results indicated the huge contribution of reworks on the pollutant levels. The particulate concentra-tions on Deepawali exceeded its respective 24 hour residential standards by several times (11.6 times for SPM, 22.3 times for PM 10 , and 34.3 times for PM 2.5 ). Concentrations of metals like Ba, Cu, Cd, Pb, Hg, Al in collected PM 2.5  were found to be increased by many times on Deepawali (56.72, 79.00, 16.67, 14.86, 12.00 and 6.26 times, respectively) compared to the previous day. The probable health impact of this huge though short-lived deterioration of the ambient air quality is estimated through Monte Carlo’s simulation in terms of increase in relative risk of mortality and morbidity in exposed individuals and found to be extremely high. It suggests some controls on reworks during festive celebrations. Keywords : Air pollution; rework; festival; health impact, relative risk. 1. Introduction In India, Festival of Light (Deepawali) is an important occasion celebrated every year during October or November. Large quantities of reworks are displayed during the festival. Fireworks contain chemicals such as potassium nitrates, potassium chlorate, potassium  perchlorate, charcoal, sulfur, manganese, sodium oxalate, aluminum and iron dust powder, strontium nitrate, and barium nitrate, etc. (Ravindra et al. , 2003; Wang et al. , 2007). These recrackers when  burnt can release various gaseous and particulate air pollutants and toxic metals to signicant quantity and degrades the air quality as a whole. In California, USA a study following the Fourth of July holiday reveals signicant increase in the levels of ambient air magnesium, aluminum,  potassium lead, barium, strontium, and copper. The study also reports the srcinal chemical composition and particle size of typical rework mixtures (Liu et al. , 1997). A laboratory study revealed that highly toxic contaminants like polychlorinated dioxins and furans are produced during the display of reworks like “blue lightning rockets” and “fountains” (Fleischer et al  ., 1999). The chemical composition and chemically resolved size distributions of ne aerosol particles were measured during the New Year’s 2005 reworks in Mainz, Central Germany (Drewnick et al  ., 2006). A detailed study of air pollution caused by rework display during lantern day festival in Beijing reported 57, 25, and 183%, respectively, increase in SO 2 , NO 2 , and PM 10  levels over  previous day. The PM 2.5  concentration was found to be 6 times higher over normal day. Analysis of different elements and ions in ne particulates revealed that over 90% of the total mineral aerosol and 98% of Pb, 43% of total carbon, 28% of Zn, 8% of NO 3 –  , and 3% of SO 42–   in PM 2.5  were from the emissions of reworks on the lantern night (Wang et al  ., 2007). In Milan, Italy a study on chemical-physical properties of airborne particles during a reworks episode reported  349Fireworks air pollution in India one hour concentration of elements like Sr, Mg, Ba, K and Cu increased by 120, 22, 12, 11 and 6 times (Vecchi et al  ., 2008). On 2nd January, 2005 the Victoria Advocate reported rework display on New Year celebration in México City “left a dense gray pall over much of city” and described the air as more polluted over a normal Saturday. Ozone level was reported to climb 190 on a scale with normal cut-off level of 100 (Victoria Advocate, 2005).Studies about the air quality during such reworks display have also been carried out in India. Attri and coworkers reported display of reworks could produce ozone (O 3 ), a strong and harmful oxidizing agent, at the ground level without the participation of NO X  (Attri et al  ., 2001). In Thiruvananthapuram, India a study about the effect of rework display during Deepawali on the mass concentration of atmospheric black carbon reveals over 3 times increase compared to normal days (Babu and Moorthy, 2001). In Hisar, India a study about the short term variation in air quality during Deepawali reported 2 – 10 times increase in concentrations of PM 10 , TSP (total suspended particulates), NO 2  and SO 2  over a typical winter day (Ravindra et al  ., 2003). In Hyderabad, India a study of various metals in rework borne particles during Deepawali reported about 1091, 25, 18 and 15 times, respectively, increase in the concentrations of Ba, K, Al and Sr over a normal day (Kulshrestha et al  ., 2004). In Lucknow, India a study on different air pollutants during Deepawali revealed an average increase in PM 10 , SO 2 , NO X  concentrations over pre-Deepawali period and a normal day by 2.49 and 5.67 times, 1.95 and 6.59 times, and 1.79 and 2.69 times, respectively. The PM 10  samples were further studied for trace metals like Ca, Fe, Zn, Cu, Pb, Mn, Co, Cr, Ni, Cd and their values were found to be higher than normal days and pre-Deepawali period except Fe (Barman et al  ., 2008). Similar short-term degradation in air quality of episodic nature has been observed in several studies at different urban locations of India carried out during Deepawali by Central and State Pollution Control Boards in recent years (CPCB, 2007).The objective of the present study was set to monitor air quality parameters such as SPM,  NRPM (non respirable particulate matter), PM 10  or    RPM (respirable particulate matter), PM 2.5  or FPM (Fine Particulate Matter), Sulfur Dioxide (SO 2 ) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO 2 ) on and around the day of Deepawali in the year 2007. The results are compared with typical winter day concentration levels for the chosen parameters and with the ambient air quality standards. The  probable health impact for observed short-term degradation in air quality is also estimated in terms of percentage increase in relative risk of mortality and morbidity. 2. Methodology 2.1 Site description Salkia (22º35′N, 88º21′E, 21 m above mean sea level), a densely populated residential area located at Howrah within the limits of Greater Calcutta (Kolkata) Metropolitan Area, was chosen as the monitoring site for the present study. Howrah is surrounded by a number of (about 30 000) small and medium scale industries such as coal and iron processing industries, iron foundries, re-rolling mills, chemical industries, etc. Different air pollutants in signicant quantity are released in the atmosphere  by these industries and automobiles. The city has been identied as one of the twenty-four critically  polluted areas in the country by CPCB, India. Figure 1 shows the location of the sampling site.The monitoring station was chosen on the terrace of a two-storied private building in a densely  populated residential area, surrounded by small and medium scale industrial units.  350 B. Thakur et al. The terrace was chosen for sampling because the nearby houses have roof spaces which are generally used by the residents for rework display. In addition, this height can be considered as the respirable zone for people in 2-3 storey buildings. 2.2 Details of the monitoring work  The monitoring work was done for a total number of eight days spanned between November 7 to 25, 2008 and divided into two segments. The rst segment consisted of six consecutive days (two days before and three days after Deepawali, to assess the variation in air quality due to recrackers during the Deepawali period. The second segment consisted of two days (eleventh and fteenth day after Deepawali). It was included to obtain the base line concentrations of the air pollutants. The pollutant parameters measured during the study include different particulate species INDIAKOLKATASALKIA(HOWRAH)MONITORINGSITESALKIAHOWRAH Fig. 1. Location of the monitoring site.
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