Unending Benefits of Natural Ventilation

Natural ventilation is a method of allowing fresh outdoor air into indoor living spaces by natural means without the use of air conditioning units and other types of mechanically driven devices. It  is the process of changing or replacing stale or noxious air with fresh air in any space to provide high indoor air quality to control temperature, replenish oxygen, remove moisture, odors, smoke, heat, dust, airborne bacteria and carbon dioxide. Ventilation is important as it reduces unhealthy air pollutants, such as formaldehyde and radon. It reduces excessive moisture and humidity levels, which can lead to mold growth and can … Continue reading

The Dangers of Asbestos

The use of asbestos has been a widespread issue that continues to impact countries on a global scale. As a favored material used in buildings and construction projects throughout the 20th century, asbestos held an incredible appeal as a mineral known for its heat and fire resistant properties. For decades, this substance was synonymous with manufacturing and development. However, it was soon discovered that once asbestos was disturbed or damaged, the fibrous material could have a fatal effect on those that came into contact with it. Asbestos in the United States Despite its known dangers, asbestos continues to pose a … Continue reading

Solid Waste Management in Kuwait

With rapid economic growth, solid waste generation is increasing rapidly in Kuwait. Presently, Kuwait is facing serious challenges in solid waste management sector. which is grossly affecting the environmental, economic and social situation in the country in addition to precipitating climate change. The World Bank noted that Kuwait has a very high per capita waste generation of 1.55 kg per day, much higher than the global per capita average of 0.74 kg per day. The predominant solid waste disposal method in Kuwait is landfill burial which act as dumpsites without considering environmental and safety precautions. The land area of Kuwait is … Continue reading

Deleterious Impact of Tire-Burning Kilns

Decorative arts such as woodworking, weaving as well as ceramics and other pottery have a long and honored tradition.  In fact, some of the earliest examples of pottery originate from the Middle East from the time of 6500 BC. In order to meet the ceramic industry’s high energy demand, much of the developing world, MENA in particular, is resorting to cheaper alternatives such as fueling kilns by burning tires and other harmful materials. Though modern technology has led to clean and efficient kiln usage in the developed world, these options come with a high price tag when referring to industrial … Continue reading

Green Roofs in MENA – Prospects and Challenges

Green roofs are emerging technologies that can provide a wide range of benefits to communities interested in enhancement and protection of their environment. The major benefits of green roofs are reducing energy use as well as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing stormwater management and water quality, decreasing heat island effect by regulating temperature for the roof and the surrounding areas and providing aesthetic value and habitats for many species.   According to a 2013 MENA renewable energy status report, the Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) in Middle East and North Africa has reached about 800 million tons of oil.  This … Continue reading

Understanding Sand and Dust Storms

Sand and dust storms are regular occurrences around the world and more common in arid and semi-arid regions, such as the Middle East. Dust storms play an important role in global dust cycle, and can alter the radiative balance. It can damage agricultural crops and retard plant growth and alter the life cycle of the marine benthic organisms due to less sun light penetration into the sea floor. Dust storms can cause social disruption, economic loss and adverse impact on human health. When the visibility is below 1000 meters on a dusty day, it is considered that dust storm is occurring. … Continue reading

Air Quality in Abu Dhabi: Perspectives

The air quality topic has taken relevance in the media lately, perhaps because 95% of the world’s population is breathing unhealthy air, or because in a year it can contribute to the deaths of more than 6 million people [1]. We are starting to realize that those beautiful sunsets which we enjoy across the Middle East are the result of pollutants and dust; and most likely each one of us know of someone with asthma or any other respiratory disease whose condition worsens under poor air quality. Poor air quality is more common in the big and developed cities instead … Continue reading