Majumdar, Dipanjali and Rao, Padma S and Chakraborty, Bipasha Dinda and Srivastava, Anjali (2015) Effects of unregulated anthropogenic activities on mixing ratios of volatile organic air pollutants – A case study. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 65 (9). pp. 1094-1103. ISSN 1096-2247 (Print) 2162-2906 (Online)

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During the months of October to November, many important festivals are celebrated in India. Celebration of these festivals are marked by extensive use of fireworks or pyrotechnics, bonfire, incense burning, open air community cooking, and temporary eateries using crude fuel such as coal, wood, kerosene, cow dung, burning of raw/semiwood, and coconut shells. The present study deals with the influence of these unregulated anthropogenic activities on ambient mixing level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), especially some carbonyl compounds. The study was undertaken in the metropolitan city of Kolkata, India, with very high population density, which is even higher during festival period. The average total carbonyl level at different sites in Kolkata varied from 134.8 to 516.5 μg m(-3) in pre-festival season, whereas in post-festival season the same varied from 252.2 to 589.3 μg m(-3). Formaldehyde to acetaldehyde ratio altered from 0.62 in pre-festival season to 1.78 in post-festival season. Diurnal variation also altered, indicating variation in source composition of carbonyls. The total ozone forming potential calculated for all 14 carbonyls in pre-festival season increased by 35% in post-festival season. The effect of anthropogenic activities typical to the event of Diwali night characterized by intense execution of pyrotechnics resulted in significantly high level of carbonyl VOCs. Principal component analysis study for the event of Diwali shows clear contribution of the event on certain carbonyl VOCs. The results indicate elevated primary emissions of these pollutants and also their effect on formation of secondary pollutants. The study emphasizes the need of generating awareness among the communities in society as well as need for regulations to minimize the emissions and related hazards to the extent possible. Implications: Altered anthropogenic activities typical of festival season including extensive use of pyrotechnics affect ambient level of volatile organic compounds, especially some carbonyls. Such activities have considerable effect on interspecies ratio and diurnal variation. They also affect formation of secondary pollutants such as tropospheric ozone. Principal component analysis (PCA) study shows clear contribution of the pyrotechnics execution on certain carbonyl VOCs. The findings emphasize the need of generating awareness in society and need for regulations to minimize the emissions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: VOC;Carbonyls;Fireworks;Organic Pollutants; Kolkata;Ozone Forming Potential
Subjects: Air Pollution
Air Pollution Effects
Environmental Pollution
Depositing User: Dr Dipanjali Majumdar
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2016 12:11
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2016 10:12

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