Abstract

Ambient Air Quality Studies on Virudhachalam

Author(s): P. Balashanmugam, M. Ramajayam and V. Nehrukumar

During the summer of 2009, samples of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), oxides of sulphur (SOx), suspended particulate matter (SPM) and carbon monoxide (CO) were collected over successive periods of about 8 hour at eight sites. High volume air sampler was used to measure the concentration of oxides of nitrogen (NOx), oxides of sulphur (SOx), suspended particulate matter (SPM) and battery operated portable CO monitor was used to measure the concentration of carbon monoxide (CO). The results reported pertain to an eight hour successive preliminary air sampling exercise carried out at each of the eight select locations in Virudhachalam, a southern semi urban settlement in India. Criteria pollutants SPM, CO, SO2 and NO2 measured are found to have either crossed or on the average of crossing the limits, necessitating the immediate installation of a continuous monitoring and control mechanism. While transport related emissions are the major sources of air contamination, increasing civil construction activities also contribute to particulates. The exponential rise in volume of vehicles, disadvantageous traffic flow pattern, differing driving cycle pattern and human interceptions deserve due attention. The concentrations of SOx values were not exceeding the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) at all the eight locations. The SPM values exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) at all the eight locations. The NOx values exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) at seven locations. The CO values exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) at six locations.


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