Muhammad Imran Nawaz 2008-ENV-43
Some Air Pollution Episodes
Bhopal Disaster, 1984
In the mid night of 2
December 1984, in a densely populated area of Bhopal, CentralIndia, a poisonous vapor burst from the tall stacks of the Union Carbide pesticide plant. Aboutforty tons of toxic gases had leaked from the Carbides Bhopal plant and spread throughout thecity. The cause was the contamination of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) storage tank with watercarrying catalytic material.
Mexico, Poza Rica, 1950
A catastrophic exposure episode involving the release of large quantities of hydrogen sulfideoccurred in Poza Rica, Mexico in November 1950. In an early morning malfunction of the wastegas flare resulted in the release of large quantities of unburned hydrogen sulfide into theatmosphere. The unburned gas, aided by a low-level temperature inversion and light earlymorning breezes, was carried to the residential area adjacent to the plant area. Residents of thearea succumbed while attempting to leave the area and assisting stricken neighbors. Within amatter of 3 hours, 320 persons were hospitalized and 22 were killed.
Los Angeles Smog, July 1973
A classical photochemical smog episode. A average of 63 pphm oxidants were observed. Ozoneconcentrations were observed to be highest in the studies of air quality. Brown haze over thetown was observed for 3 days. It was PAN smog which affected the city. Vehicular emission ismainly responsible and also NO
from combustion of fuels. And it caused the loss of visibilityand respiratory problems.
Kuwait oil fires
Caused by Iraqi military forces setting fire to 700 oil wells as part of a scorched earth policyduring Gulf war in 1991. The fires started in January and February 1991 and the last one wasextinguished by November 1991. around 6 million barrels (950,000 m
) of oil were lost eachday. The byproducts of the petroleum burn caused pollution to the soil and air, known as Gulf war syndrome.Its consequences are as under:
dramatic decrease in air quality, causing respiratory problems for many Kuwaitis.
mixture of desert sand + unignited oil + soot formed layers of "tarcrete" which coverednearly 5% of the country.
the oil has continued to sink into the sand affecting Kuwait's precious groundwaterresources.