HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT FOR EMISSIONS FROM JAMSHORO THERMAL POWER STATION USING AERMOD DISPERSION MODEL
Thermal power plants generate about 65% of the world’s electricity using fossil fuels, and Pakistan produces 61% of its electricity from such plants. Due to the use of fossil fuels such as natural gas, furnace oil and coal for electricity generation, there is a serious need to assess the health risks from emissions to people living near these thermal power plants. Up until now, studies of the health impacts from power plants have never been performed in Pakistan. This study was performed for the natural gas and oil-fired Jamshoro Thermal Power Station (JTPS), Sindh, Pakistan. Three pollutants, SO2, CO and NO, were assessed for health risk to people residing near the power plant. Both long- and short-term effects on health were estimated. The AERMOD model was used to estimate air pollutants ground level concentrations (GLC) at 20 sensitive locations selected within a 10 km radius of the power plant. The results showed that short-term concentrations of SO2 at several locations are 1.5-3.6 times higher than the guidelines of the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) while long-term concentrations are within limits. The concentrations of CO and NO were within limits set by the National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) and the US-EPA However, further studies of the area are needed because these pollutants are not only being emitted from JTPS but also from the nearby Lakhra Coal Power Plant and vehicles.
KALEEMULLAH SHAIKH, UZMA IMRAN AND SULTAN SHAIKH