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JustHere | December 3, 2016

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Industrial emissions and low cloud cover cause of gas odour in Qatar in March; no danger to public health

Photo Courtesy: Larry Johnson/Flickr

Photo Courtesy: Larry Johnson/Flickr

 

The presence of excessive levels of burning industrial gases and an unusual low cloud cover and slow movement of wind together caused the gas-like odour that residents around Qatar detected on March 21 earlier this year.

This result, as announced during a press conference by the Ministry of Interior today, was the finding of a scientific investigation commissioned spearheaded by HE Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani to uncover the source of this odour and was carried out by experts from different sectors.

The combination of low cloud cover and slow-moving wind together caused the gas to remain stagnant and led to a rush of the odour in the atmosphere through the north coast when the winds moved northeast later.

The investigation also revealed an increase in the concentration of some air pollutants for a brief period beginning at noon on March 21 at Ras Laffan. However, the ratio of these pollutants did not exceed the national safety standards during the complaint period and therefore wasn’t a risk to public health, the investigating experts assured.

Data for this was gathered through continuous monitoring of air quality from a wide network of 19 air monitoring stations, which relied on advanced devices and analysis software working round the clock.

The investigation committee recommends that industries reduce the amount and sources of emission from their factories, among others.

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