Ambient Air Quality Monitoring & Testing

Ambient Air Quality monitoring or Testing is a process of measurement of pollutants present in the atmosphere. It measures the healthiness and safety of our environment.

What is Ambient Air Quality?

Ambient air quality is defined as the quality of air outside and sometimes inside. Ambient air quality standards are limits to concentrations of pollutants in air stated for well being of human, nature, animals, etc. There is no single specified definition of standards resulting, Various organizations use standards which are not often similar.

What is Air Quality Monitoring?

Air quality monitoring is the process of assessment of pollutants present in the atmosphere by their quantity and types as per air quality standards. Air quality monitoring helps us to take action based on pollutants present in atmosphere to improve air quality.

Why Ambient Air Quality Monitoring or Testing Required?

Air Pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulates or other harmful materials into atmosphere causes/damage to living organisms/built organisms. Air pollutants are added in the atmosphere from a variety of sources that changes the composition of the atmosphere and affect the biotic environment. The concentration of air pollutants depends not only on the quantities that are emitted from air pollution sources but also on the ability of the atmosphere to either absorb or disperse these emissions. The sources of air pollutants include vehicles, industries, domestic sources and natural sources. Because of the presence of a high amount of air pollutants in the ambient air, the health of the population is getting adversely affected. In order to arrest the deterioration in air quality, Govt. of India has enacted the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act in 1981. The responsibility has been further emphasized under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Therefore, the Central Pollution Control Board had started National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring (NAAQM) Network during 1984 – 85 at the national level. The program was later renamed as National Air Quality Monitoring Program (NAMP).

Ambient Air Quality Monitoring & Testing Process

Ambient air quality monitoring & testing is required to determine the existing quality of air, evaluation of the effectiveness of the control program. National Air Quality Monitoring Program is described in this chapter along with details on pollutants measured and their frequency. Similarly, Guidelines for monitoring are made for carrying out AAQM under NAMP and description of the program is essential as the monitoring is carried out to meet the objectives of NAMP.

Various types of equipment are used to find the amount of Air pollution done by a particular source called "Air Monitoring Equipment". Evaluation of Ambient Air for determination of community air Quality as related to local health, Social & Environmental Effects. Determination of suspended particulate matter as small as one-micron size & any four gaseous contaminants at a time.

Ambient Air Quality Monitoring or Testing Parameters

Under N.A.M.P., 12 air pollutants viz., Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Oxides of Nitrogen (NO2) and Particulate Matter (PM10) and Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Ozone (O3), Lead (Pb), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Ammonia (Nh3), Benzene (C6H6), Benzo-Pyrene (BaP), Arsenic (As), Nikel (Ni) have been identified for regular monitoring at required the locations/ Industrial unit.

Among all these parameters Particulate matter is the most important pollutant present in the atmosphere. It is also called as Particulate matter Monitoring or Dust Monitoring. As per CPCB Notification under National Ambient Air Quality Testing Standards (NAAQS). These results can be converted into the non-technical way so that everybody can understand the level of pollution. It is called as Air Quality Index (AQI).

Ambient Air Quality Monitoring or Testing Standards

Below mentioned are National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) which are taken as guidelines in testing.

·
Sr No. Pollutant Time Weighted average Concentration in Ambient Air
Industrial, Residential, Rural and other Areas Ecologically Sensitive Area (notified by Central Govt.)
Methods of Measurement
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
1 Dioxide (SO2), μg/m3
Annual*
24 hours**
50
80
20
80
  • Improved West-Gaeke results
  • Ultraviolet
  • Fluorescence
2 Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), μg/m3
Annual*
24 hours**
40
80
30
80
  • Modified Jacob & Hochheiser (Na- Arsenite)
  • Chemiluminescence
3 Particulate Matter (size less than 10 mm) or PM10 μg/m3
Annual*
24 hours**
60
100
60
100
  • Gravimetric
  • TOEM
  • Beta attenuation
4 Particulate Matter (size less than 2.5 microns) or PM2.5 μg/m3
Annual*
24 hours**
40
60
40
60
  • Gravimetric
  • TOEM
  • Beta attenuation
5 Ozone (O3) μg/m3
8 hours **
1 hour **
100
180
100
180
  • UV photometric
  • Chemiluminescence
  • Chemical method
6 Lead (Pb) μg/m3
Anual*
24 hours**
0.5
1.0
0.5
1.0
  • ASS / ICP method after sampling on EPM 2000 or equivalent filter paper
  • ED-XRF using Teflon Filter
7 Carbon Monoxide (CO) μg/m3
8 hours**
1 hour**
2
4
2
4
Non-Dispersive Infra RED (NDIR) Spectroscopy
8 Ammonia (NH3) μg/m3
Annual*
24 hours**
100
400
100
400
  • Chemiluminescence
  • Indophenol blue method
9 Benzene (C6H6) μg/m3 Anual* 5 5
  • Gas chromatography based continuous analyser
  • Adsorption and desorption followed by GC analysis
10 Benzo (a) Pyrene (BaP) – particulate phase only ng/m3 Annual* 1 1 Solvent extraction followed by HPLC / GC analysis
11 Arsenic (As) ng/m3 Anual* 6 6 AAS / ICP method after sampling on EPM 2000 or equivalent filter paper
12 Nickel (Ni) ng/m3 Anual* 20 20 AAS / ICP method after sampling on EPM 2000 or equivalent filter paper

Ambient Air Quality Testing Procedure – Duration and Frequency

The period and frequency of ambient or outdoor air quality sampling procedure should be such that statistically reliable averages can be obtained with the data i.e. 8 Hrs or 24 Hrs. National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) states that it should be 8 hrs monitoring or 24 hrs as per requirement. Particulate matter levels are lower during the monsoon months due to removal by wet deposition. Air pollutants such as CO levels are higher during winter months due to lower mixing heights resulting in less volume of troposphere available for mixing and hence higher concentrations. Thus measurements should be conducted in all the seasons so that in annual average all the seasons are represented equally. In general, a minimum of 20% of the reading should be taken in each season.

Ambient air quality monitoring is required to determine existing quality of air and evaluation of control program. Under national ambient monitoring program parameters like Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), NOx.

Ambient Air Quality Monitoring & Testing Equipment

High Volume Air Sampler

High Volume Air Sampler consists of the filter holding assembly, High capacity blower, U-tube Manometer, Rotameter, impingers housed in detachable fibre case, inlet filters, voltage stabilizer & timer.

Continuous Air Quality monitoring station

Continuous air quality testing station constantly samples and test ambient air and provide instant reading to the nearest monitoring centre. Recently the Indian government has installed more than 50 continuous air quality monitoring stations in metro cities of India.

Ambient Air Monitoring & Testing Services Company

We offer Ambient air monitoring & testing services in India. Our company is completely adept in offering customized ambient air monitoring services as per clients requirements. All this was possible because, we have highly qualified and experienced professionals who are capable of monitoring the air for toxin level, pollution degree etc.

Special features of Envirotech Research Private Limited are:

  • Customized service offered
  • Excellent monitoring
  • Specialized services
  • Efficient professional team
  • Cost-effective
  • Timely service
  • Reliable

Additionally, we have periodically calibrated instruments as per Pollution control board guidelines. As Environmental Consultants we offer services in Soil Analysis, Water Analysis, Environmental Monitoring, Air Quality Monitoring, Ambient Noise Level Monitoring and Stack Emission Monitoring.