Dr. Akram Alkhoury

Pollution in general is defined as the quantitative or qualitative change in living and non-living components of the environment, and this change disrupts the environment’s balance. Pollution is also the presence of any substance at an inappropriate place, time, and quantity.

 

Pollution, in general, means placing materials of different vital mediums at quantities which affect the functioning of ecosystems, by negatively impacting the vital components of these systems. Therefore, the pollution of the city of Damascus, is due to:

 

  • Transportation

Transportation is considered the main source of air pollution in cities, and the low quality of fuel used has increased the percentage of these polluters. This type of fuel contains high quantities of sulfur (0.15% in gasoline) and (0.7$ in diesel), meaning (7000PPM), while the international standard for green diesel reaches (50 PPM), which leads to an increased emission of pollutants emanating from vehicle exhausts, particularly sulfur gas and coal soot, and this is due to:

–  Timeworn transportation in Syria.

– The quality of fuel, which plays an important role in increasing the polluting gases, particularly sulfur gas.

– The presence of a large number of  vehicles operating on diesel.

– Increase of local activities and construction.

 

  • Heating:

– Large amounts of diesel used in heating, which account for about 33.3% of the total diesel consumed in Syria.

– Deterioration in the quality of diesel used in heating (Diesel containing 0.7% sulfur).
–  Deterioration in the quality of heating (mostly of primitive types, where the effectiveness of combustion is no more than 40 percent).

 

  • Industry:

 

Different industries emit a lot of air pollutants, by burning the necessary fuel for these industries, or by-products of industrial processes. One of the factors that increase the pollution of cities from industrial sources, is that most of them are surrounded by different industries which do not take into account the environmental considerations, such as the cement industry, quarries, and others.

 

For example, the dust fall rate at the Tartous Cement Factory, ranges between 77 and 518 tons / km2 / month, while in the neighboring villages, which are about 5 km away from the factory, the dust fall rate has reached rates ranging between 18 and 100 tons / km 2 / month, noting that the limit is 9 tons / km2 / month.

 

Action has been taken in a number of cement factories (Adra and Tartous) to develop and modernize the dust filter systems, based on the state’s plan in this regard. This has had a positive impact in improving environmental conditions.

 

  • Expansion in cities, which has resulted in industrial activities being close to inhabited areas.

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