The Study of Particulate Matter Concentration in Schools of Lahore
Anila Rose Yousaf and Nikhat Khan
Journal Title:Nature Environment and Pollution Technology
Children spend a large part of their time in school. Air pollution due to high concentration of particulate matter in schools has a detrimental effect upon children and teachers health and achievement. This study was carried out to assess mass concentration of particulate matter (PM10, PM2.5) in schools of Lahore, Pakistan, by using portable Tactical Air Sampler (MinivolTM TAS) and questionnaire survey during working days of the schools, in 5 northern (downtown area), and 5 southern (suburban) schools of Lahore, from November 2010 to June 2011. Mean concentration of PM10 in sampling schools of northern and southern Lahore was 1433.04 µg/m3 and 293.9µg/m3 respectively, while that of PM2.5 was 153.8 µg/m3 and 54.79ìg/m3 respectively. In both the areas, concentration of PM2.5 was minimum at 6a.m. and maximum at noon. Concentration of PM10 and PM2.5 was higher in winter than in summer, but was found to be lower on rainy days. In winter, northern and southern schools’ mean PM10 was 1507.15 µg/m3 and 314.5438 µg/m3, and PM2.5 was 169.1µg/m3 and 59.5 µg/m3. In summer, PM10 was 1365.4 µg/m3 and 284.4 µg/m3, and PM2.5 was 137.8 µg/m3 and 44.5 µg/m3 respectively. PM10 and PM2.5 concentration in northern schools was significantly higher than in southern schools. It exceeded WHO and NAAQS of Pakistan. Questionnaire revealed that adverse impacts of high PM concentration are more rigorous at northern schools than at southern schools of Lahore. Suitable site selection and public cooperation are vital for reduction of particulate matter in schools of Lahore.