Air Pollution and its Effect on Respiratory Diseases in Kathmandu

  • Batu Krishna Sharma
  • Achyut Prasad Sharma
  • Amod Pokhrel

Abstract

A comprehensive survey of both biological and non-biological air-borne particles was conducted from six different localities in the Kathmandu City. Monitoring of PM7,07(Respirable dust particles less than 7.07 micron in size) and NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen) among the non-biological particles and fungal elements among the biological particles was carried out. Laser Dust Monitor (LD-1) was applied to measure the relative dust concentration (PM7.07). Passive Diffusion Sampler (CDI) along with NOx analyzer as per the Saltzman method was used to measure ambient NOX concentration. Where as the measurement of fungal elements was made using the Potato Dextrose Agar along with 50 mg/L of Chloramphenicol in the Gravity Plate Technique. In the study, the highest concentration of PM7.07 was obtained at the City Bus Park (400.92 mglm3) and the lowest was obtained from International Airport Area (42.02mg/m3). Similarly, the highest NOx concentration was obtained at City Bus Park (0.035ppm) and the lowest from International Airport (0.012ppm). 37 fungal species belonging to 26 genera were isolated among the biological particles. Among these species, Penicillium comprised 23.68%, Aspergillus made up 7.89%, and Cladosporium comprised 7.89% being the most prevalent. The highest number of fungal elements was isolated from Top Hill Area (23) and lowest from Residential and 1.Airport (1 8). The correlation between the measured parameters and the respiratory cases of Kanti Children Hospital was studied. A significance relationship between the parameters was obtained. The relationship of the pollutants with the respiratory problems was found to be highly significant.