Without a means of monitoring the pollutant levels we cannot consider whether the condition of the atmosphere or environ at any position is improving or getting worse. We cannot ascertain with any degree of certainty if any place is starting to become a health hazard before actually waiting for the health deterioration patterns to set in without a means of monitoring the area. It is perhaps an indictment of industry and governments that irreversible damage to the health of a residential population or workers is regarded as a time to consider ” doing something about the problem” or even only of an indication that “there may be a problem”.
We see the deterioration of urban, industrial and residential areas to a point where the persons working and living in the areas have to start dying of pollutant induced cancers, chronic lung diseases and other consumptive causes before actions are taken.
We have fortunately seen a great improvement to direct working conditions with the present and draft legislation covering the health of workers. Occupational hygiene is becoming an integral aspect of every mine, ship, industry and to some extent even within the agricultural industry. The gap between conditions within the working place and the residential area now has to be concentrated on to a degree never considered before and even if this aspect has not been totally legislated or is not being adequately policed, we now have to consider aspects of pollution very carefully if we are to be accepted as suppliers to the developed nations or even as recipients in a trade pact.
In the near future mines will have to prove that they are monitoring their emission levels and are doing this to acceptable standards and that they are reducing emissions in a structured systematic way.
The science of determining the effect or impact of pollutants on the environment as well as the health of people and animals will similarly have to improve.
In the same way, industry whether local or aimed at some export market will have to unify standards and monitor their emissions satisfactorily.
Farming methods will also have to be modified to limit the creation of dust, the liberation of pesticides where these are used and to limit veld-burning operations.
Finally, monitoring must be as simple as possible, the equipment cost should not be too expensive and the cost of running a programme as low as possible. In the South African or indeed the African context or other developing areas it is vital that as many persons as possible can be trained to service and run a monitoring programme. A requirement for programmes to be run by scientists only is just not feasible.
OHSA Dust Monitoring – For more information click here.
Federal register Part 1V – 40 CFR Parts 53 & 58
Revised requirements for Designation of Reference
and Equivalent Methods for PM 2.5 and Ambient Air Quality Surveillance for Particulate Matter – Final Rule
EPA Revised Particulate Matter Standards – Fact sheets
Air Quality Criteria for Particulate Matter –
EPA 600/P – 95/001af
DustWatch fall-out dust monitoring, sampling and assessment procedure manual – DustWatch CC
ASTM D1739 – American Standard Test Method
Strategy for Landfill Designs in Arid Regions – Anwar Al-Yagout & Frank Townsend ASCE
Numerous routine reports & investigative reports