QSA: Harmful air particles continue to surpass acceptable limits in Qatar

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The presence of a certain type of air pollutant in Qatar is more than double the allowed limit set by the government, new Qatar Statistics Authority figures show.

In 2011, the concentration of particles in the air ranged from 105 to 185 micrograms per cubic meter at various spots around Doha. The annual limit is 50.

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Meanwhile, Qatar’s levels of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ground level ozone and carbon monoxide all stayed well below the permitted levels, and in fact dropped from the previous year.

But according to the QSA, particulate matter concentration is the most harmful of air pollutants to humans because it contributes to respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. It also can cause vision problems and block the absorption of vitamin D and other nutrients.

Rise in pollution 

A previous QSA report cited sand and dust created by Qatar’s booming construction industry, combined with pollution from transportation, as the reasons for the soaring number of air pollutants in Doha.

To tackle the issue, it recommended the development of strict guidelines “to manage discharge of greenhouses gases and air pollution, where all sects of the society should participate, including the private sector.”

Here’s the latest report:

Have you noticed a change in air quality over the years?

Thoughts?

Credit: Top photo by Shaun Dunphy; graphic courtesy of QSA

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