An Exposure Level of Fine Particulate Matter in Various Schools in Gaza Strip, Palestine

Maher Elbayoumi; Nor Azam Ramli; Noor Faizah Fitri Md Yusof; Wesam Al Madhoun
In the first decade of the 21st century, previous studies showed good evidence that fine particulate matter pollution adversely affects the health of children and adults. Effects are wide ranging, and include reduced lung function, acute and chronic bronchitis, asthma attacks, and increase hospitalizations related to respiratory and cardiac. In Gaza strip the rates of previous disease increases during the last decade due to the increase in the concentration of fine particulate in the ambient air. The aims of this study were to (1) Monitor the indoors and outdoors mass concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5, PM1.0) in 12 naturally ventilating schools (36 classroom) in United Nations Schools in Gaza Strip; (2) Assess the effect of outdoor pollutant concentrations on the indoor concentrations by using indoor/outdoor (I/O) ratios; and (3) Estimate the inhalation potential dose of fine particulate during student’s activities. Fine particulate (PM2.5, PM1.0) were measured during winter season in 2012 for one and a half month. In each classroom and outdoor fine particulate (PM2.5, PM1.0) were measured during school hours from 07:00 am to 12:00 am. Meanwhile, data on student’s activities during school hours were gathered. The results show that the indoor PM2.5 and PM1.0 were 197.4 and 34.6 µg/m3 respectively and the outdoor PM2.5 and PM1.0 were 134.7 and 32.3 µg/m3 respectively. Moreover, results show that the I/O ratios for most of school was close to unity but there was statistically significant difference in the mean value of I/O for both PM2.5 and PM1.0 among schematic building schools of 95% confidence interval (CI). The calculated mean value of potential dose and 95 percentile value shows that children inhaled a huge value of fine particulate matter during school day and the physical activities contribute to 50 percent of exposure.
PM2.5; PM1.0; Potential Dose; Physical Activities; Schools Children; Indoor Air Quality
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