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GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 2020, VOL. 4, NO. 2, 104–110 INWASCON https://doi.org/10.1080/24749508.2019.1600909 RESEARCH ARTICLE Eﬀects of ﬁreworks ancient celebrations on atmospheric concentration of particulate matter in Iran a b c Balal Oroji , Asghar Sadighzadeh and Eisa Solgi Department of Biology Science, Faculty of Material Engineering and new Technologies, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, b c Tehran, Iran; Safety & Environmental Lab, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, Tehran, Iran; Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, Malayer University, Malayer, Iran ABSTRACT ARTICLE HISTORY Received 27 April 2018 The Chahar-Shanbe Suri culture in Iran is a signiﬁcant and direct factor leading to air pollution Accepted 21 March 2019 in Iran. This study investigates why and how “Chahar-Shanbe Suri” culture leads to increased air pollution in Iran. Following the ﬁreworks of Chahar-Shanbe Suri in Tehran, Tehran’s air KEYWORDS quality index increased by a high slope, and the clean condition with the 49 index at 20 pm Air pollution; aerosol; SEM- was unhealthy for all segments of society with a 177 index at 23 o’clock. Of course, according EDS; concentration of to the data measured in Tehran’s air quality assessment stations, the air quality index in the particles; Chahar-Shanbe areas of the city has risen above or near 200, which indicates a very unhealthy condition. The Suri celebration results of the SEM-EDS indicated that the PM of ﬁreworks in the area make up the largest proportion of atmospheric particles. The chemical composition of particle was the origin of organic matter and the soot combinations from the combustion of sulfur compounds. The people, governments, and industry should work together to navigate positive initiatives. Public education and media navigation are necessary for dealing with the cultural aspects of environmental pollution and also, the management of celebrating can reduce the impact of ﬁreworks on the air quality. 1. Introduction Perchlorate, Barium Nitrate, and Manganese, etc. (Kulshrestha, Rao, Azhaguvel, & Kulshrestha, 2004; Air pollution has overtaken poor sanitation to Ravindra, Mor, & Kaushik, 2003; Steinhauser, Sterba, become the main environmental cause of premature Foster, Grass, & Bichler, 2008; Wang, Zhuang, Xu, & death. According to the World Health Organization An, 2007). The heat generated by the ﬁrecrackers can (WHO), air pollution in 2012 has led to 3.7 million release various particulate and gaseous air pollutants deaths worldwide. These particles include aerosol and toxic metals to signiﬁcant quantity and degrades particles, Ozone (O ), Nitrogen dioxide (NO ), and 3 2 the air quality as a whole and dangerous conditions Sulfur dioxide (SO ) (World Health Organisation caused for all ages. In United States, a study following (WHO), 2014). Human activities and production in the 4 July holiday reveals a signiﬁcant increase in the factories and industries is a key driver of air pollu- levels of ambient air Al, Sr, Cu, K, Mg, Br (Liu, tion, so it is hardly surprising that celebrations and Rutherford, Kinsey, & Prather, 1997). This increase cultural activities can have a profound impact and in particles may remain in the atmosphere for a long can increase the concentration of atmospheric parti- time. While fever, cough, and dyspnea are often cles. One of the best studies is the regularly occurring reported initially as acute aﬀects, pollution due to weekend eﬀect or holidays religious ceremonies, ﬁreworks causes chronic respiratory and cardiovascu- which is deﬁned as the diﬀerence of air pollutant lar disease, pulmonary eﬀects, premature death, and concentrations between weekdays and holidays, with cancer (Barman, Singh, Negi, & Bhargava, 2008; a general reduction of major pollutants. Although Nasir & Brahmaiah, 2015; Sharma, Nayak, & Lal, culture plays an important role in many environmen- 2015). Also, chemically resolved size distributions tal problems, it is a less-obvious factor aﬀecting air and chemical composition of ﬁne aerosol particles pollution, which is often overlooked by researchers. were measured during the New Year’s 2005 ﬁreworks Some cultural rituals in communities lead to envir- in Central Germany (Drewnick, Hings, Curtius, onmental problems. Many of these rituals are accom- Eerdekens, & Williams, 2006). In studies, Qin, panied by ﬁre. Fireworks contain chemicals such as Tonnesen, and Wang (2004) reported that the aver- Potassium Chlorate, Sodium Oxalate, Sulfur, age concentrations of Carbon Oxide (CO), PM , Charcoal, Potassium Nitrates, Iron and Aluminum Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx), and Nonmethane dust powder, Strontium Nitrate, Potassium CONTACT Balal Oroji Balaloroji@yahoo.com Department of Biology Science, Faculty of Material Engineering and new Technologies, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University, Tehran, Iran © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 105 Organic Compounds (NMOC) at weekends were Iran who are happy to illuminate the ﬁre and explod- lower than those on weekdays in southern California. ing explosives on this day. There are always deaths Khaparde, Pipalatkar, Pustode, Rao, and Gajghate and injuries due to ﬁre and explosives. Chahar- (2012) in Nagpur (Central India) reported a 4–10- Shanbe Suri, one of the most important things to do fold increase in PM concentration was observed in Iran is to check out the calendar for annual festi- during Diwali. A previous study in northeast India vals. Iran holds and celebrates various events and observed an increase in the concentrations of metals, festivals all year round. Some of the rituals and festi- anions, and cations during festival days compared to vals in Iran consist of religious ceremonies and rites, other days (Deka & Hoque, 2014). Garaga and Kota and many others have more historic and ceremonial (2018) indicated that the mean PM concentration backgrounds that can be tracked into the pre-Islamic during Diwali, 311 µg/m , was 81% higher than other era. There are also many feasts and celebrations to days and 3.1-times higher the Indian National pay homage to many deities and they are mostly Ambient Air Quality Standards. For ﬁrst observed farming festivals. The festivals in Iran vary greatly in the U.S.A. in the 1970s (Jimenez, Parra, Gasso, & by region due to Iran’s multi-ethnic make-up. One Baldasano, 2005), and since then, many studies have of the most important and old festivals is Chahar- reported these eﬀects that are inﬂuenced by traﬃc Shanbe Suri. This study investigates why and how rush hours (e.g., Cerro, Cerda, & Pey, 2014; Chahar-Shanbe Suri culture leads to increased air Henschel et al., 2015), population size (e.g., pollution Iran and Tehran city. Butenhoﬀ et al., 2015), and degree of urbanization Due to the arrival of a large amount of particulate (e.g., Huryn & Gough, 2014). Diverse cultural activ- matter (PM) from this ancient celebration, it is impor- ities in the world can directly enhance primary pol- tant to study the concentration of PM and their che- lutants, such as the Sunday roast of Victorian mical composition. In fact, the purpose of this study is England (Brimblecombe, 2012) or barbecues (Tsai, to investigate the amount of PM from the ﬁreworks on Sopajaree, Kuo, & Yu, 2015). Based on the report of the celebration day. Also, in each sampling period, the Chatterjee et al. (2013), a ﬁve increase in PM con- chemical composition of the PM was investigated centration was observed in Kolkata in eastern India using the Scanning Electron Micrograph-Energy- during Diwali. Also, based on the research of Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) method. Ambade and Ghosh (2013), in Rajnandgaon in cen- tral India, PM concentration during Diwali showed 2. Methods and materials a nearly 3-fold increases compared to other days. There are numerous reports on the impact of key Sampling was performed in the city level at a height of events where ﬁreworks contribute to visibility reduc- 20 m above ground level. Sampling was done by a tion (Singh, Bloss, & Pope, 2015), illicit use of the high-volume sampler with a discharge of 1.6 cubic metalloid arsenic (Sterba, Steinhauser, & Grass, meters per minute. Fiberglass ﬁlters were used to col- 2013), toxic metals (e.g., Camilleri & Vella, 2010; lect atmospheric particles and also, sampling time for Kong et al., 2015), and enhanced particulate loads each station was from 2 to 14 h. The weighing of the in German New Year (Drewnick et al., 2006), the U. ﬁlters was done before and after the sampling. S.A. on Independence Day (Seidel & Birnbaum, Preliminary SEM/EDS measurements were performed 2015), Slovenia (Mlakar, Božnar, Grašič, & Popović, on some of the samples to get elemental information 2012), Spain (Moreno et al., 2010), or in India during on individual aerosol particles and average particle size the Diwali festival (Bhatnagar & Dadhich, 2015; and morphology were investigated in each image. Perrino et al., 2011; Ravindra et al., 2003) or the Aerosols particles were imaged with a Zeiss numerous festivals that occur throughout the sum- EVOSOXP SEM. The X-ray energy spectra were mea- mer in Malta (Camilleri & Vella, 2010). Air pollution sured using a Bruker Quantax 200 EOS system with a in Iran has attracted all attention again since recent Peltier-cooled X Flash silicon detector. The aerosol years. Especially, in densely populated industrial samples were coated with a thin layer of conductive cities, such as Tehran. material before the measurements were performed. The burning of fossil fuels and motor vehicle emissions are regarded as two main primary causes 2.1. Study area of air pollution in Iran and megacities. There are reports of lower concentrations of atmospheric parti- Tehran, one of the most polluted cities in the world cles in metropolitan areas such as Tehran during and the capital of Iran, has a population of about 10 working days, as well as weekend holidays and oﬃcial million people and an area of about 800 km on the holidays. But until now, a study has not been done in southern slopes of the Alborz Mountain Range. Also, the amount of air pollution in a traditional ceremony from the southern part of Tehran, leads to open plains Tuesday the end of the year (with title Chahar- and agricultural ﬁelds, as well as Qazvin plain. Shanbeh Suri). This is one of the oldest people in Tehran’s plain, located in the south of the Alborz 106 B. OROJI ET AL. Figure 1. Geographical location of the study area. Mountains at an altitude of 900–1500 m, is one of the stations, the AQI in the areas of the city has risen above main gatherings and human activities in the province or near 200, which indicates a very unhealthy condition. of Tehran. The geographical location of the study area The next day (February 14th), the pollutant of the is shown in Figure 1 (Oroji, 2018). Based on the Air Tehran city index is a suspended particle of fewer than Quality Index (AQI) calculated by the methods 2.5 microns, but this day increasing concentrations are described in the Iranian National Standards in 2016, observed in other pollutants, including carbon monox- the period under study consisted of 17 clean days (AQI ide and carbon monoxide. The amount of pollutants in < 50), 260 days with healthy conditions (50 < AQI < this day was such that the online index of Tehran’sair 100), 80 days of unhealthy conditions for sensitive quality was in a violet (very unhealthy) situation in groups (100 < AQI < 150), and 9 days of unhealthy some areas. According to the pollution index, the con- conditions (150 < AQI < 200) (Air Quality Control dition is declining ﬁve days after the celebration. Company (AQCC), 2017). In total, the number of Accordingly, the index of air pollution in Tehran at polluted days decreased by 22 days compared with 11th district, Shadabad, and Rey municipality stations the last year. But the air pollution in the city has always was 202, 240, and 235, respectively. Also, Tehran’sair been a problem for people. pollution index was reported in red (very unhealthy) According to reports, particulate Organic Matter status in 9 other stations on 13 March. The values of (OM) was the dominant component during most of SO ,PM , and PM are shown in Figure 2.As shown 2 10 2.5 the year, with a contribution of 13–54% and an in Figure 2, the concentration of PM and PM con- 2.5 10 average of 35%. OM and Elemental Carbon (EC) tinues with a constant trend from 17 February to 19 together comprised 44% of ﬁne PM on average, March 2018. But this trend will show a large increase in reﬂecting the signiﬁcance of anthropogenic urban 13 and 14 March. Air pollution was in an emergency sources, i.e., vehicles. Most of the Organic Carbon during the day after the celebration and was in sensitive (OC) was formed from water-insoluble compounds situations. (82.5 ± 4.3% on average), suggesting a large contribu- The average AQI in the last few days is shown in tion from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels Figure 3. Based on the current situation and climate (Oroji, 2018). Based on the annual emission of air change, air stability in February and March is less pollution in Tehran, the amount of stationary sources than normal. But on the day of celebration, at 4:00 of NOx, CO, and PM is 53.2%, 2.5%, and 29.8%, pm, the concentration increased and the increase was respectively. While, this combination was 46.8%, at most from 20:00 to 4:00. Relative air stability on 14 97.5%, and 70.2% for mobile sources, respectively February caused the weather index to be unhealthy (Oroji, Solgi, & Sadighzadeh, 2018). and this situation continues until the very last hours of the night. Such conditions were present in most cities of Iran. But atmospheric conditions did not 3. Results and discussion change the AQI. Figure 4 shows the SEM micrograph spectrum of Since the celebration is held in all cities of Iran, due to aerosol particles in the study area, it is obvious that the fact that the population of Tehran and the geogra- the particles show irregular, spherical, and cluster phical extent of its impact on the celebration in this city shapes. The particles Ca, Fe, K, O, Si, and Al follow is more than other cities. Following the ﬁreworks of the similar trend. Table 1 shows concentrations of Chahar-Shanbe Suri in Tehran, Tehran’sAQI increased elements aerosol particles in central regions of the by a high slope, and the clean condition with the 49 study area. index at 20 pm was unhealthy for all segments of society This issue has been considered in most countries with a 177 index at 23 o’clock. Of course, according to and is of high importance. Similar studies have been the data measured in Tehran’s air quality assessment GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 107 Figure 2. Concentration SO ,PM , and PM from 17 February to 19 March 2018 in the study area. 2 10 2.5 Figure 3. Changes in the concentration of PM ,PM , and AQI during the celebration in Tehran. 10 2.5 Figure 4. SEM images of aerosol particles in central regions of the study area. done in diﬀerent parts of the world. Tsai et al. (2015) Firecrackers are thought to drive away evil spirits, in research found that the average concentration of that lurk around to torment human beings, but the PM rose to high levels over Kaohsiung Harbour, noise causes them to vanish into thin air (Wong, inﬂuenced by ﬁreworks during Taiwan’s lantern fes- 1967); however, such celebrations contribute to a tival. Air pollution from ﬁreworks is frequently reduction in air quality. Gong et al. (2014) reported observed at the Chinese Spring Festival period; widely a reduction in aerosol during the Lunar new Year celebrated in Asia and within the Chinese diaspora. period and revealed that the concentrations of major 108 B. OROJI ET AL. Table 1. Concentrations of elements aerosol particles in the reported that an average increase in SO , NOx, PM 2 10 study area. concentrations over pre-Deepawali period and a nor- Element Weight % mal day by 1.95 and 6.59 times, 1.79 and 2.69 times, C 35.64 and 2.49 and 5.67 times, respectively. The PM sam- O 48.48 ples were further studied for trace metals like Co, Cu, Al 1.37 Cl 3.59 Fe, Ca, Cd, Cr, Mn, Pb, Ni, Zn, and their values were Ca 8.04 found to be higher than normal days and pre- Ti 1.10 Fe 1.12 Deepawali period except Fe (Barman et al., 2008). Pb 0.65 However, in some cities, contamination remains in the atmosphere in a short period of time, but particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 microns stay in the atmosphere in most cities for several days. air pollutants had signiﬁcantly decreased around the holiday, but a short-term peak could be seen for NO , SO , and PM due to ﬁreworks along with peaks in 2 10 4. Conclusions the concentration of a range of metals Cu, Al, K, Sr, Mg, Pb, and Ba (Chang, Lin, Young, & Lee, 2011), In most countries, the end year is always accompa- dicarboxylic acids (Wang et al., 2007). According to a nied by ﬁre. One of these celebrations in Iran is similar study conducted in China, it was found that Chahar-Shanbe Suri, which is held throughout the 25%, 57%, and 183%, respectively, increase in NO , cities of Iran. During Chahar-Shanbe Suri in SO , and PM levels over the previous day. Also, the Tehran, widespread use of ﬁreworks caused heavy 2 10 PM concentration was found to be 6 times higher pollution with extremely high aerosol concentra- 2.5 over a normal day. tions. Fireworks sources should be controlled and Analysis of diﬀerent elements and ions in ﬁne limited. Besides limiting the usage of ﬁreworks by particulates revealed that over 90% of the total individuals, the Iran government should also limit mineral aerosol and 98% of Pb, 43% of C , 28% ﬁrecrackers and ﬁreworks sales. The Chahar-Shanbe Total − −2 of Zn, 8% of NO , and 3% of SO in PM were Suri culture in Iran is a signiﬁcant and direct factor 3 4 2.5 from the emissions of ﬁreworks on the lantern night leading to air pollution in Iran. Unfortunately, few (Wang et al., 2007). In another similar study in Italy, people recognize the role of culture in dealing with it was reported that one-hour concentration of ele- environmental problems. Although cultural changes ments like Ba, Cu, K, Mg, and Sr increased by 12, 6, do not take place over a short time, people can 11, 22, and 120 times (Vecchi et al., 2008). Following gradually change the traditions, as long as they New Year celebration in Mexico City in January 2005 fully realize the threats and risks that traditions or reported that “left a dense gray pall over much of customs exert on the environment. In the future, city” and described the air as more polluted over a policies and laws should be designed to improve normal Saturday, Ozone level was reported to climb the eﬀectiveness of PM control. The people, gov- 2.5 190 on a scale with normal cut-oﬀ a level of 100 ernments, and industry should work together to (Victoria Advocate, 2005). Attri, Kumar, and Jain navigate positive initiatives. Public education and (2001) during their research reported that display of media navigation are necessary for dealing with the ﬁreworks could produce ozone (O ), a strong and cultural aspects of environmental pollution. People harmful oxidizing agent, at the ground level without should also be provided more green options to make the participation of NOx (Attri et al., 2001). In up for the loss of traditional activities or customs. another study on India, the eﬀect of ﬁrework display Consideration should be given the health eﬀects of during Deepawali on the mass concentration of air pollution in the urban atmosphere. Investigation atmospheric black carbon reveals over three times the relationship between the concentrations of increase compared to normal days (Babu & atmospheric particles (such as PM ) and the num- Moorthy, 2001). According to a study conducted in berofpeoplevisitinghealthcenters on thedaysafter Hisar India, the short-term variation in air quality the celebration can be an important target for future during Deepawali reported 2–10 times increase in research. Due to the weather condition during the concentrations of total suspended particles (TSP), celebrations, the possibility of PM stability in the NO ,SO , and PM over a typical winter day atmospheric will increase. In these situation, health 2 2 10 (Ravindra et al., 2003). According to a research pub- problems will increase. Assessing these health pro- lished in Hyderabad India, following a study of var- blems can provide important information for con- ious metals in ﬁrework borne particles during trolling and managing pollution. Size distribution of Deepawali reported about 1091, 25, 18, and 15 atmospheric PM can determine the impact on the times, respectively, increase in the concentrations of health of people. Because in a stable atmosphere, Al, Sr, Ba, and K over a normal day (Kulshrestha et ultraﬁne and ﬁne particles can remain in the atmo- al., 2004). Barman et a1. (2008) in Lucknow India sphere for a long time. GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, AND LANDSCAPES 109 Deka, P., & Hoque, R. R. (2014). 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Geology Ecology and Landscapes – Taylor & Francis
Published: Apr 2, 2020
Keywords: Air pollution; aerosol; SEM-EDS; concentration of particles; Chahar-Shanbe Suri celebration
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