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Recent spatial gradients and time trends in Dhaka, Bangladesh, air pollution and their human health implications

Rahman, Md Mostafijur; Mahamud, Shakil; Thurston, George D.

Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. Volume 69:Number 4 (2019); pp 478-501 -- Taylor & Francis

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  • Title:
    Recent spatial gradients and time trends in Dhaka, Bangladesh, air pollution and their human health implications
  • Author: Rahman, Md Mostafijur;
    Mahamud, Shakil;
    Thurston, George D.
  • Found In: Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. Volume 69:Number 4 (2019); pp 478-501
  • Journal Title: Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association
  • Subjects: Air Pollution--prevention & control--Periodicals; Hazardous Waste--prevention & control--Periodicals; Waste Management--Periodicals; Air quality management--Periodicals; Air--Pollution--Periodicals; Hazardous wastes--Management--Periodicals; Dewey: 628.5305
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: Taylor & Francis
  • Abstract: ABSTRACT:

    Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is among the most polluted cities in the world. This research evaluates seasonal patterns, day-of-week patterns, spatial gradients, and trends in PM2.5(<2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter), PM10(<10 µm in aerodynamic diameter), and gaseous pollutants concentrations (SO2, NO2, CO, and O3) monitored in Dhaka from 2013 to 2017. It expands on past work by considering multiple monitoring sites and air pollutants. Except for ozone, the average concentrations of these pollutants showed strong seasonal variation, with maximum during winter and minimum during monsoon, with the pollution concentration of PM2.5and PM10being roughly five- to sixfold higher during winter versus monsoon. Our comparisons of the pollutant concentrations with Bangladesh NAAQS and U.S. NAAQS limits analysis indicate particulate matter (PM2.5and PM10) as the air pollutants of greatest concern, as they frequently exceeded the Bangladesh NAAQS and U.S. NAAQS, especially during nonmonsoon time. In contrast, gaseous pollutants reported far fewer exceedances throughout the study period. During the study period, the highest number of exceedances of NAAQS limits in Dhaka City (Darus-Salam site) were found for PM2.5(72% of total study days), followed by PM10(40% of total study days), O3(1.7% of total study days), SO2(0.38% of total study days), and CO (0.25% of total study days). The trend analyses results showed statistically significant positive slopes over time for SO2(5.6 ppb yr −1, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.7, 10.5) and CO (0.32 ppm yr −1, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.56), which suggest increase in brick kilns operation and high-sulfur diesel use. Though statistically nonsignificant annual decreasing slopes for PM2.5(−4.6 µg/m 3  yr −1, 95% CI: −12.7, 3.6) and PM10(−2.7 µg/m 3  yr −1, 95% CI: −7.9, 2.5) were observed during this study period, the PM2.5concentration is still too high (~ 82.0 µg/m 3 ) and can cause severe impact on human health.

    Implications : This study revealed key insights into air quality challenges across Dhaka, Bangladesh, indicating particulate matter (PM) as Dhaka's most serious air pollutant threat to human health. The results of these analyses indicate that there is a need for immediate further investigations, and action based on those investigations, including the conduct local epidemiological PM exposure-human health effects studies for this city, in order to determine the most public health effective interventions.


  • Identifier: System Number: LDEAvdc_100079284080.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 1047-3289; 10.1080/10962247.2018.1548388
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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