Air Quality section:
Ambient Air quality:
The term “ambient air quality” means the state of the air around us. Good ambient air quality refers to unpolluted air and cleans. Clean air is fundamental to maintaining the fragile balance of life on our planet — not just for humans, but animal, plant, water and soil. Unhealthy ambient air quality is a result of a number of factors, including emissions from a variety of sources, both natural (e.g. volcano and earthquake) and anthropogenic “human-caused” (e.g. transportations, industries, power plants). Unhealthy ambient air quality occurs when pollutants reach high as much as necessary concentrations to endanger human health and/or the environment.
The critical air pollutants, which have major impacts on human health and Environment, are five pollutants: ground-level ozone gas (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO).
Monitoring ambient air quality:
Monitoring ambient air quality is a priority being established by the UAE with utmost importance considering the fact that this matter constitutes a major impact on human health and Environment in which they live. Hence, the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology monitors air quality on a continuous basis via air quality monitoring network consist of numbers of stations to detect air pollutants level. To reflect the importance of different sources of emissions, these stations are located either in sufficiently distant urban area from industrial sites or in urban areas close to traffic and / or industrial areas. Therefore, the aim of this network is to assess the air quality in the Northern Emirates, and to identify the most polluted areas and develop plans and use applicable pollution control mechanism needed to reduce the current and future pollution levels.
First: Ambient Air Quality monitoring Network
The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology manages an automated ambient air quality network specialized in monitoring air pollutants in the Northern Emirates (Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman and Sharjah) operating continually. This network consists of 8 stations containing instrumentation being classified with high credibility and precision. The electrical output of the instrument is not only recorded at measuring station but also transmitted on daily basis to the central computer located at the National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology where the data are accordingly recorded and stored in a computer for subsequent evaluation and issuing periodic reports later.
Second: Dustfall monitoring stations:
The National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology collect and measure the level of of dustfall (Settleable Particulate Matter) on several areas across the Northern Emirates, 33 devices are installed to collect samples of dustfall in accordance to the prevailing wind direction blowing towards residential areas from the quarries and cement factories that probably are the most source of dust. For comparison purposes, numbers of these devices are distributed away from the influence of the quarries and cement factories.
To reach the best results an internationally endorsed method (ASTM D-1739 ) have been performed in order to monitor the level of dustfall on the surrounding areas of quarries and cement plants to provide records that enable future actions to limit the dustfall in these areas as well as across the country in general.