Dust Pollution and its Effects

Dust Pollution and its Effects By Rithika Thomas - February 15, 2023
Dust Pollution

Dust Pollution

Dust is one of the biggest pollutants in Qatar. Being a dessert, the occasional dust storm, though it may seem harmless, can actually have a lasting affect on your health. Especially if you are constantly exposed to pollutants. Dust storms and emissions from vehicles and industrial plants are the main causes of polluted air in Doha. The energy sector is the most detrimental to environmental air quality as shown by its significant contribution to GHG (GreenHouse Gas) emissions. 

Dust particles, often referred to as particulate matter, may be generated mechanically, for example by the wind, may be emitted directly to the atmosphere or may be formed by reactions in the atmosphere from gases.

The three major sources are:

1. Chemical reactions of gases in the atmosphere

2. Combustion processes

3. Mechanical generation


Impacts of Dust Pollution

Due to the wide variety of the pollutants and compositions involved, dust particles play a role in many air pollution issues. 

  • Human health effects - respiratory and heart problems caused by inhalation of small particles¬†
  • Localised effects of dust covering vegetation
  • Deposition of heavy metals with toxic effects on plants, animals and humans
  • Light scattering leads to the potential to offset global warming
  • Light scattering leads to reductions in visibility


Health Effects

Children, the elderly and poor people are more susceptible. Extreme exposure or continuous exposure to air pollutants can cause diseases like 

  • Stroke¬†
  • Ischaemic heart disease¬†
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Cataract (from household air pollution)

In order to reduce pollution and health risk to the population, interventions must be taken. It includes sustainable transport in cities, implementing solid waste management, providing access to clean household fuels and cookstoves, developing the market for renewable energies and energy efficiency, and implementing industrial emissions reductions. 

By Rithika Thomas - February 15, 2023

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