Emission of volatile organic compounds from religious and ritual activities in India
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Worshipping activity is a customary practice related with many religions and cultures in various Asian countries, including India. Smoke from incense burning in religious and ritual places produces a large number of health-damaging and carcinogenic air pollutants include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, benzene, 1,3 butadiene, styrene, etc. This study evaluates real-world VOCs emission conditions in contrast to other studies that examined emissions from specific types of incense or biomass material. Sampling was conducted at four different religious places in Raipur City, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India: (1) Hindu temples, (2) Muslim graveyards (holy shrines), (3) Buddhist temples, and (4) marriage ceremony. Concentrations of selected VOCs, respirable particulate matter (aerodynamic diameter, <5 μm), carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide were sampled from the smoke plumes. Benzene has shown highest emission factor (EF) among selected volatile organic compounds in all places. All the selected religious and ritual venues have shown different pattern of VOC EFs compared to laboratory-based controlled chamber studies.
KeywordsEmission factor Volatile organic compounds Indoor air pollution Religious and ritual places
The authors are grateful to Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV, USA and Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur, India for providing analytical support. One of the authors (SD) is grateful to the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi for providing Junior Research Fellowship.
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