The State of Ambient Air Quality of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Monday, 15 December 2014
Mirza M Hussain1, Omar S Aburizaiza2, Haider Abbas Khwaja3, Azhar Siddique4, Shedrack R. Nayebare5, Jahan Zeb2 and Donald Ray Blake6, (1)NYSDOH/Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY, United States, (2)King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, (3)University at Albany, Albany, United States, (4)University of Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan, (5)SUNY at Albany, Albany, NY, United States, (6)University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, United States
Ambient air pollution in major cities of Saudi Arabia is a substantial environmental and health concern. A study was undertaken to assess the air quality of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by the analysis of respirable particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon (BC), trace metals (Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Br, Sr, Cd, Sb, and Pb), and water-soluble ions (F-, Cl-, NO3-, SO42-, C2O42-, and NH42+). Sulfur and BC mass concentration ranged 0.99 - 7.39 µg/m3 and 0.70 - 3.09 µg/m3, respectively, while the PM2.5 mass concentration ranged 23 - 186 µg/m3. Maximum BC contribution to PM2.5 was 5.6%. Atmospheric PM2.5 concentrations were well above the 24 h WHO guideline of 20 µg/m3. Air Quality Index (AQI) indicates that there were 8% days of moderate air quality, 28% days of unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups, 55% days of unhealthy air quality, and 9% days of very unhealthy air quality during the study period. Sulfate SO42- dominated the identifiable components. The major contributors to PM2.5 were soil and crustal material; vehicle emissions (black carbon factor); and fuel oil combustion in industries (sulfur factor), according to the Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF). This study highlights the importance of focusing control strategies not only on reducing PM concentration, but also on the reduction of toxic components of the PM, to most effectively protect human health and the environment.