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Study of Noise and Atmospheric Pollution During the Festival of Lights (Deepawali) in the North Central Part of India—A Case Study

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Deepawali—the festival of light—is celebrated in India, every year during October or November with great fireworks display. Fireworks display during festive celebrations can cause acute short term air as well as noise pollution. Concentration of air pollutants such as SO2, NO2, CO, O3, benzene and respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) along with noise levels were monitored for five consecutive days during Deepawali at Agra, a densely populated residential area near New Delhi, India, for assessing the impacts of fireworks on ambient air quality. The average total concentrations of SO2, NO2, CO, O3, benzene and RSPM for the entire study period was found to be 14.7, 41.1, 1.9, 10.5, 0.8 and 293.5 μg/m3 respectively. The average total noise level was found to be 72.71 dB. The pollutant concentrations as recorded on Deepawali were found to be slightly higher (1.5 times for SO2, 1.4 times for NO2, 1.7 times for CO, 1.6 times for ozone, 1.4 times for benzene and 1.8 times for RSPM) compared to a typical winter day value. The results indicated the huge contribution of fireworks on the pollutant levels. The temporal variation is similar to other studies conducted in Deepawali suggesting that the problem is rampant in urban India. The peak concentrations of carbon monoxide and respirable suspended particulates exceeded the NAAQS, India 24 hour standard. It suggests some controls on fireworks during festive celebrations. All the pollutants showed similar variation pattern during the monitoring period. The concentrations increased steadily to the peak on Deepawali and declined thereafter. Further studies on control measures for firework display during such celebrations are necessary to reduce the probable health hazards.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2014

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