A study has found air pollution levels in Education City to be much lower than those previously reported for other locations in Doha. Based on the results, a widely applicable calibration scheme for two on-site air quality sensors was developed.
Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) has published the findings of the study conducted by five students at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q), as a part of the Student Research Mentorship Programme (SRMP) and in collaboration with Qatar Mobility Innovations Centre in its open access journal, QScience Connect, on QScience.com.
The study aimed to measure and report on air pollution levels, specifically in Education City, to assess air pollution’s impact on public health and wellbeing. Undertaken from March 2019 to March 2020, the study assessed air quality samples from two locations in Education City during the summer, fall, and winter seasons whereby the researchers developed a method for on-site calibration of air pollution sensors in real time.
“At HBKU Press, we aim to support local researchers that evaluate pertinent issues related to a wide variety of topics, including public health,” explained Dr Rima Isaifan, head of Academic and Journals Publishing at HBKU Press.
“By publishing articles about topical issues without barriers to subscriptions and in open access journals like QScience Connect, local researchers are provided a global platform on which to reach international audiences and local research is made available on global indexing services. In this way, HBKU Press provides a platform for participating in the wider knowledge economy and global exchange of ideas and information.”
The findings are of interest to policymakers and public health workers in Qatar and the greater Gulf and Mena region as they seek to mitigate pollution in the naturally arid and dusty climate.
“Air pollution is a universal threat to human health and wellbeing which makes real-time air quality monitoring of paramount importance,” pointed out Dr Mohamed Yousef, an associate professor of Physics at WCM-Q and the mentor overseeing the research. “For maximum public health benefits, air pollution monitoring systems should be accurate, robust, and real-time. The findings of this study can support the development of data-driven pollution management policies in the future.”
The research was funded by SRMP, which is a unique opportunity for WCM-Q students that generously funds student research initiatives that expose future physicians to research early on in their training. With the help of accomplished and experienced mentors at WCM-Q, students formulate their research questions, carry out the research, and submit a written report.
The authors of the study, Kevin Zhai, Mohamed Bhatti, Omar Khalil, Laila Khalil, and Moza al-Hail, are students in the six-year medical programme at WCM-Q.