CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF WET PRECIPITATION OF AIR POLLUTANTS: A CASE STUDY IN KARACHI,

Muhammad Nasiruddin Khan, Anila Sarwar

Abstract

Air pollution has been considered one of the most important environmental challenges because of its direct effect on ecosystems and human health. Temporal changes in the composition of 20 samples of rainwater in the arid region of Karachi, Pakistan during the southwest monsoon of 2009 have been monitored to carry out the indirect assessment of air quality. The study has been fulfilled with the aim of identifying the level of air pollution, and the relative contribution of possible anthropogenic activities. Metal ions were analyzed to predict health risks. Rain samples were found to be alkaline (pH 5.55-7.55) due to the influence of calcium and magnesium rich particles. Continuous rains in consecutive days showed a remarkable decline in air pollution while the dry season boosted up the level of pollution. Strong correlations of total dissolved solids with K+, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, and Cl-were observed. A relatively weak correlation of total suspended particles with metals showed the possibility of some other particulate matters being suspended in the air. Principal component analysis and analysis of means were used to predict the anthropogenic source of pollution. This study will be helpful to formulate strategic planning and policies for controlling the level of air pollution in the city.

Keywords

Karachi, air pollution. rainwater, chemical composition, multivariate analysis

Full Text:

PDF