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Peak Air Pollution Episodes During Hajj Isobel Simpson University of California, Irvine Irvine, California, USA Haider A. Khwaja New York.

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Presentation on theme: "Peak Air Pollution Episodes During Hajj Isobel Simpson University of California, Irvine Irvine, California, USA Haider A. Khwaja New York."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peak Air Pollution Episodes During Hajj Isobel Simpson University of California, Irvine Irvine, California, USA Haider A. Khwaja New York State Dept. of Health and SPH, Univ. at Albany Albany, New York, USA Azhar Siddique King Abdulaziz University Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Tao Wang Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong, China Funded by: King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Prof. Omar S. Aburizaiza

2 Air pollution is a top global killer (7 million deaths; WHO). Particulate Matter (PM), a major component of outdoor air pollution is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) (IARC). Air quality during the Hajj season sharply deteriorates, exposing pilgrims to dangerous levels of pollutants. For more on this study: Haider A. Khwaja et al., Poster Number A13C-3189

3 Extremely high levels of air pollutants during the Hajj period. PM 7, PM 2.5, O 3, and BC concentrations of up to 9,433 µg/m³, 484 µg/m³, 444 ppb, and 468 µg/m³, respectively. Exceeded the WHO standards for PM 10, PM 2.5, and O 3 by many folds.

4 PM 10 % Increase in Daily Mortality: 6 – 700 PM 10 % Increase in Hospital Admissions: 7.2 – 840 PM 10 % Change in Cough: 39 – 4550 PM 10 % Change in Symptom Exacerbation: Estimated Risk for Pilgrims Health during Hajj

5 Congested traffic and the high rates of emissions  Longer trip durations  higher exposure of gaseous and particulate pollutants for longer periods of time  increase in pilgrim’s health risks. Reducing the high levels of air pollutants the pilgrim’s breathe during the Hajj will prevent non-communicable diseases. Better understanding of air pollution exposure and their determinants in the environments will contribute to the development of more appropriate exposure reductive strategies and have significant public health meanings. Recommendati ons


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