Dubai: Inside The Tiny Dh2 Million Station That Monitors Air Pollution, Ensures Workers' Safety

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Tue 18 Jun 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 18 Jun 2024, 7:35 AM

Tucked away in the corner of Jebel Ali, among big factories, is a small structure called an air quality monitoring station. But let the size not fool you, because this station can measure 101 types of air pollutants as well as temperature, humidity, wind direction and more.

The Dh2 million facility that was unveiled on June 5, on World Environment Day, is aimed at ensuring the good health of workers in the area.

“Since a lot of factories are located in Jebel Ali, we want to make sure that the air quality in this area is not impacted by pollutants,” said Salem AlHammadi, Director of Environment, Health and Safety at the Department of Planning and Development from Trakhees.“By monitoring for harmful pollutants, we want to make sure of the safety of residents and workers of the area.”

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The facility measures air every second of the day and collects the data to be monitored by a team of experts at the Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation.

How pollutants are measured

Inside the facility, in one corner of the room, there is a pipe that gathers the air from outside. The air is then split into seven different parts to be fed into different sensors to measure the various pollutants.

On one side, 11 sensors are stacked on top of each other to measure the air. Two of these sensors measure a whopping 90 of the pollutants. The remaining nine measure, between themselves, another 11 parameters. Some of these need flames while others need air and water to function effectively.

One of the sensors measures fine dust while another one monitors larger dust particles.“The dust sensors will help us to foresee and predict dust storms as well as study what caused the storm,” said Moodhi Ali Rasheed, Senior Officer Environment, Public Health and Safety at Trakhees.“It will also help us determine from where a sandstorm originates. This will make it easier for us to investigate if it is a natural phenomenon or something caused by factories.”

In the other corner of the centre, there is a computer which shows, in graphs as well as in numbers, the levels of pollutants in real time.“This also gives the average amount of various chemicals in the air in one second as well as in five second intervals,” said Ali Rasheed.

Improving quality of life

The station is in line with the Dubai Quality of Life Strategy 2033, which is part of the broader efforts led by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai to adopt and implement projects aimed at improving the overall quality of life in the emirate.

According to AlHammadi, providing accurate data on air quality in Jebel Ali can contribute to the development and implementation of local and national environmental policies.“Data from the air quality monitoring station can be used to assess the environmental impact of companies' and industries' activities,” he said.“It will determine necessary measures to minimise this impact and comply with environmental standards.”


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Khaleej Times

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