The Assessment of Air Quality in Makkah
Air pollution is still a major global issue for the environment and public health. Especially in under developing countries. The Arabian Peninsula also experience air pollution problems but are not well documented. Millions of pilgrims visit Makkah every year, especially in Hajj and Ramadan seasons. According to the World Population Review in 2018, the population of Makkah is around 1,323,624. Whereas the number of pilgrims visited Makkah are approximately 15 million per year, including Hajj and Ramadan as the Economist Magazine recorded in 2010. The Air Quality in Makkah is a unique due to the high number of populations, traffic and the complex terrain. Three Air Quality monitoring stations (Masfallah, Hadda and Mobile station) are working in the city of Makkah. PM10, PM2.5, VOC, NMHC, CH4, O3, CO, CO2,NO, NO2 and SO2 were analyzed on these stations. Ten meteorological stations were installed in Makkah city (Shara’a, Kuddy, Nawaraih, Azzizia, Takhsosy, Leith, Abdiah, Masfallah, Hadda, and mobile lab) for the monitoring of air temperature, relative humidity, rain fall, wind speed, wind direction, solar radiation and biometric pressure. The concentration of PM10 at four sampling sites were 254.6µg/m3, 184.9µg/m3, 162.4µg/m3 and 56.0 µg/m3, which is less than the PME standard (340 µg/m3). Health risk assessment of PM10 and BTEX was also studied by the institute. Because of low ambient air concentrations, PM10 was less risk for public health (concentration response coefficient was 0.49 per 10 µg/m3 increase of PM10). The average concentration of Total VOCs was 55.3 µg/m3 and 156.3 µg/m3 in daytime and nighttime, respectively, which effects more commonly the boys of 12-14 years of age. Because of unique population variations in religious months and progressive development in Makkah city, more stations are required to be installed to continue air quality monitoring for future reference.
Keywords - Air Pollution, Makkah, NO2, PM10, BTEX.