Types Of Respiratory Diseases Biology Essay

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1. Each day a human breathe about 20,000 times, and by the time he is 70 years old, he will have taken at least 600 million breaths. It is a must to identify our respiratory system and the related illnesses on it. There by respiratory diseases categorization can be identified among sample groups separately. The most common respiratory symptoms are Common Cold, Running Nose, Stuffy Nose, Heavy Fever, Asthma, Laryngitis, Bronchitis, Pneumonia, Tuberculosis, Emphysema, and Lung Cancer. The respiratory system is shown in Annex B to this dissertation.

THE PROCESS OF OIL REFINING

2. Refining oil is a complex process which turns Crude oil, natural gasses, Coal into fuel. Various physical, thermal and chemical separation techniques are used to extract several types of fuels and gases such as Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) gas, Petrol, Diesel, Kerosene and Bitumen. Crude oil is unprocessed oil. It derived from decaying animal and plants which lived millions of years ago. Crude oil contains Hydrocarbons and form different components.

3. Refineries Perform 3 basic steps in order to produce its outputs.

a. Distillation. Separating the complex mixture of Hydrocarbons in Crude oil into components is called distillation.

b. Conversion. Conversion reforms the backbone of Carbon atoms in a Hydrocarbon molecule in order to make new components of higher commercial value.

c. Treating. Treating substitutes Hydrocarbon atoms for Sulfur atoms in the Hydrocarbons, thereby reducing the pollution caused when the ultimate products are burned. Followed by blending together of the resulting components to make finished products. [1] 

4. These three factions are common to the Sapugaskandha Oil Refinery also. Oil Production Process of Sapugaskandha Oil Refinery is done under high air fresher condition. Through this process Crude oil is separated in to five various components such as:

a. Fuel Gas.

b Naphtha.

c. Kerosene.

d. Diesel.

e. Long Residue (Fuel oil and Tar).

5. During this process huge numbers of air pollutants are emitted.

Boiling Range

C

Tar Bitumen

Long Residue

400o Long Reside Fuel Oil

Auto Diesel

Gas Oil

200o Gas Oil (Diesel) Supper Diesel

Crude

Oil Kerosene Kerosene

180o Kerosene

(Jet A â€" 1)

Naphtha Petrol/Blending

Naphtha Component

30o Chemical Naphtha

Gasses LP Gas

Figure iii: Oil Production Process.

Source: Training Section Sapugaskandha Oil Refinery.

PROBLEM RELATED TO THE OIL REFINERIES

6. Oil refineries release millions of pollutants to the atmosphere. Many of the gases emitted by refineries are harmful to human health, and can cause permanent damage and even death. They can cause respiratory problems (Asthma, Coughing, Chest Pain, Choking, and Bronchitis), Skin irritations, Nausea, Eye problems, Headaches, Birth defects, Leukemia, and Cancers. Young children and the elderly are the worst affected. In Mabima also these kind of health situation can be expected.

7. Oil refineries cause Smog and toxic gases. Oil refineries emit about approximately about 100 chemicals everyday. These include metals like Lead. They also include very small dust particles called Particulate Matters that get deep into human lungs and harm our ability to breathe. Finally, refineries emit many gases like SO2, NO2, CO2, COx, NH3, Hydrogen Fluoride, Chlorine, Benzene, Propane and many others. This kind of air quality can be expected from Sapugaskandha atmosphere also. [2] 

8. On the other hand the Oil Refinery pollutes not only air but also water and land. It pollutes the land by the large amount of harmful waste from the refinery which needs to be dumped. Water is polluted by the fallout from air pollution and by discharging chemical pollutants into water ways and accidental oil spilling to the ground water.

9. Fugitive emission is another method of Air Pollution which is caused by the Oil Refinery. The polluted air which escapes through leaks including valve, pumps, seals, connectors, pressure relief devices in the refinery equipments is called fugitive emission. The amount of pollution coming from fugitive emission is higher than the amount coming out of the stacks. Moreover accidental fires, explosions, and chemical are common at refineries.  Such accidents cause result in more heightened exposure to pollutants and greater health impacts [3] . Since Sapugaskandha Refinery is 41 years old, it is most likely to emit the fugitive emission due to very old machineries.

10. However Oil refineries adopt to release gases through smokestacks with flares in order to reduce air pollution. When gases are lit on fire as they are released, most of the chemicals are combusted into less harmful components mostly into CO2 and water. Although this burning reduces the amount of toxic chemicals in the gas, it never eliminates all of them. These toxic gases can flow into the air along with the black smoke emitted from smokestacks. An analysis of data from air quality monitors in neighborhoods near the refinery found that measurements of known air quality toxins particularly Sulfur gases have reached record levels when flaring at the refinery [4] . Also a very rich SO2 level found in an air r analisis done in general area Sapugaskandha.

11. And also a previous study has been done and showed that school children in a school situated next to a refinery suffered between 30% to 40% more respiratory problems than children living more than 10 km away [5] .

12. As a Research conducted in year 2006, in order to identify health effect of out door air pollutions in Sapugaskandha, Puttlam and Kithulgala areas following findings were indicated:

a. The Wheezing level of children who are less than 15 years old indicated that about 8.9% in Sapugaskandha 8.9% in Puttlam and 0% in Kithulgala.

b. Cough, Cold and Phlegm were 21% in Sapugaskandha 7% in Puttlam and 0.1% in Kithulgala.

c. About 6% had complained headache, Skin problem Eye irritation in Sapugaskandha.

d. Both children and elders had reported Wheezing 11%, Cough, Cold and Phlegm 16% and headache, Skin problem and Eye irritation 8% in Sapugaskandha. In Puttlam those were 4%, 3% and o% respectively. In Kithulgala there were no complaints on above condition. [6] 

13. This research indicates that high air pollution level at Sapugaskandha, low in Puttlem and very low in Kithulgala. Therefore it can be mentioned that high respiratory diseases level is proportional to the high air pollution level. This is a very strong factor to support the hypothesis of this dissertation.

14. A Study has been done on residents of six cities of United States to assess the effects of common air pollutants on the risk of pulmonary and cardiovascular disease. The study has shown that people living in the more polluted cities had a higher risk of hospitalization and early death from lung cancer and other respiratory diseases than those living in the less polluted cities. [7] 

FUTURE TRENDS OF FOSSIL FUEL BURNING IN SI LANKA

15. The Government is going to expand the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery that would increase its oil producing capacity from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels per day. So that air pollution level in Sapugaskandha will be increased.

16. Since Crude oil is expected to last another four decades, while the Coal reserves are said to be sufficient for about another 400 years special policies have been taken in to consideration. In order to cater to future growth, the Electricity Board has planed to install a mixture of fuel oil and Coal based plants under the Generation Expansion Plan for next 13 years. It is expected to have four Coal plants in the West coast and power plant at Hambantota. At the moment one power plant has been set up in Kerawalapitiya. In addition, several oil based plants are expected to be set up at Kelanitissa, Sapugaskanda and Kerawalapitiya. [8] Also the Ministry of Industrial Development has proposed new industrial Estate at Karandeniya, Walapitiya, Bataatha, Apologia, Thambuttegama, Polugaswewa, Mahiyangana Redimaliyadda, Buttala, Bibile, Minuwangoda, and Arachchikattuwa in very recently. When those are established maximum precautions have to be taken for prevention of Air Pollution.

FINDING THROUGH QUESTIONNAIRE AND INTERVIEWS

17. During second week of August 2010 the questionnaire was given to the both sampling groups at Mabima and Mandawala. Each group was having 50 persons. According to the age categories and gender the participants of Mabima area are categorized as follows:

Age Group

Female

Male

Total

Year 05 - 13

03

05

08

Year 14 - 30

08

07

15

Year 31 - 50

11

09

20

over - 51

05

02

07

Total

27

23

50

Table 1: Total Number of Mabima Sample Group.

Source: Survey Done by the Researcher in the Month of August 2010.

18. In Mabima area out of 50 participants 17 are respiratory diseases effected patients (Asthma and Wheezing). The gender and age group categorization is as follows:

Age Group

Female

Male

Total

Year 05 - 13

01

02

03

Year 14 - 30

02

01

03

Year 31 - 50

04

03

07

over - 51

03

01

04

Total

10

07

17

Table 2: Total Number of Respiratory Diseases Effected Patients in Mabima Sample Group.

Source: Survey Done by the Researcher in the Month of August 2010.

19. Out of 17 respiratory diseases affected patients, one smoker was found who has to be excluded in this survey. There were 33 participants who did not have respiratory diseases in Mabima area.

20. In Mandalawala area also 50 numbers of group was tested and the age and gender differences are as follows:

Age Group

Female

Male

Total

Year 05 - 13

04

06

10

Year 14 - 30

05

02

07

Year 31 - 50

10

07

17

over - 51

08

08

16

Total

27

23

50

Table 3: Total Number of Participants in Mandawala Sample Group.

Source: Survey Done by the Researcher in the Month of August 2010.

21. In Mandawala area out of 50 participants, four respiratory diseases affected patients were found. The age and gender diversity is as follows:

Age Group

Female

Male

Total

Year 05 - 13

-

-

-

Year 14 - 30

-

-

-

Year 31 - 50

02

-

02

over - 51

01

01

02

Total

03

01

04

Table 4: Total Number of Respiratory Diseases Effected Patients in Mandawala Sample Group.

Source: Survey Done by the Researcher in the Month of August 2010.

22. There were 46 participants who did not have respiratory diseases in Mandawala area.

23. In Mabima sample group out of 33 participants who did not have direct Asthma and wheezing symptoms some other illnesses were repotted. Those are:

a. Continuous Fever.

b. Headache.

c. Irritating Eyes.

d. Fainting.

24. Three participants reported Laryngitis and Cough which belong to repertory diseases category.

25. In Mabima sample group, the side effects caused by the Oil Refinery were reported as follows:

a. Breathing difficulties during the maintenance period of the refinery due to bad smell.

b. Through out the day a bad smell is coming from the Refinery.

c. Vegetations are badly effected due to toxic gases (The plants are getting dry and burnt).

d. people are suffering from bad smell emits from an abandon chemical ditch.

e. Children have complained that it is difficult to read due to smell and sound.

f. Due to unpleasant smell, people feel bad when they take meals.

g. There is a belief among the people that some body is died from Cancers due to toxic gases in the area.

h. The land demand has badly gone down due to pollution.

i. Everybody is reporting that their relations and friends are not visiting houses since they feel bad when the gasses come.

j. Carbon Particles from air fell down to their lands and houses. Due to that:

(1) The water of the wells are getting oily flavor, especially in the rainy season.

(2) Tin sheets of houses are deteriorated.

(3) When cloths are dried in open area, getting dirty.

k. Especially in rainy season it is very much difficult to breath.

l. Windows of the houses are getting vibrated.

m. Televisions are getting vibrated.

n. Walls of the houses are vibrated.

o. Flair column which is closer to Pattivila road remains warmth some times. When the road is used, people feel hot especially in the morning.

p. If a terrorist attack or an explosion happens to the Refinery, area with in 500 meters is vulnerable due to fire and toxic gasses. In an emergency people are warned to abandon their houses.

q. Sound coming from the Refinery is badly affected.

r. Some times human skin feels hot in this environment.

s. Most of them wish to abound their houses if they are given land and houses by the government.

t. There is an idea among them, because of the Refinery, disable children are born.

26. A doctor who is practicing medicine in general area Sapugaskandha was interviewed and intention was to measure the level of respiratory diseases that he come a crosses in the area. As per his view the level of patients who come for treatments from him from Oil Refinery area, are very high. Out of these patients most of them were suffering from Cough, Fever, and Asthma, wheezing, Headache and Laryngitis. As per his, expert view the reason behind these problems is the high level of toxic gasses in Sapugaskandha area.

27. With his guidance two dispensaries at Sapugaskandha area including his one were visited in four evenings. It was observed that higher number of patients came to get treatments for Cough, Fever, Asthma and Wheezing. Especially more number of children came to get treatment for continues Fever. Since I visited many dispensary in other area (Mandawala, Negombo) the respiratory diseases rate was apparently very high in Sapugaskandha.

28. Further more DMO of Kiribathgoda hospital was interviewed to get the data of the respiratory diseases in Sapugaskandha area. But in Kiribathgoda hospital there were no such details. As per his expert view the toxic gasses which are released by the Oil Refinery does not effect much to the public since the gasses are released through very high smoke stakes to the atmosphere. From the date the Oil Refinery was established in 1969, there were no any major reports or protests against the Refinery from the people.

29. Also 30 student officers and soldiers of DSCSC were interviewed in order to get their feelings when they expose to the Sapugaskandha atmosphere since they are new to the environment from January 2010. It was observed that out of 30 personnel, 17 (56 per cent) was feeling bad with the new environment at the very initial stage. When their first two or three days at DSCSC they had Headache. When they came back after long leave again they were affected to Headache for one or two days unlike other working areas. All the people felt bad in rainy days since the petroleum smell comes.

30. Ten army personnel who are employed for Internal Security duties at the Oil Refinery were interviewed in order to get an idea of their working environment. Out of them four soldiers 40 per cent were experienced fatigue when they came back after leave

unlike other working areas. All of them felt bad throughout the day due to toxic gases.

31. The Yoshida Shokanji International School which is located at the west edge of the Refinery. This International school is a preschool, where 350 children are studding. Most of them are in age three and four years. Mrs Fernando R V who is the Principle of the school was interviewed and she was asked about the level of respiratory illnesses among children in the school. As per her view, there was no any unusual situation.

But many parents had reported that when the children were suffering from Running Nose their rheum is getting black color. That is because they are exposed to polluted air during school time. Moreover the swimming pool at the school is getting oily in most of the mornings. Children had reported that when they swim, their bodies are smarting. Also she said that because of the Particulate Matters she was suffering from skin problem as per her doctor’s opinion.

AIR ANALYSIS IN SAPUGASKANDHA ARAE

32. When an air analysis of Sapugaskandha area was requested from Center Environment Authority, it was found that the responsibility of air quality monitoring in Sapugaskandha area is not with them. The latest air quality monitoring report in Sapugaskandha area was found which was done by NBRO in year 1997 to year2004. [9] 

33. They have collected data of SO2 and NO2 levels in Manelwaththa and Gonawela areas very closer to the Oil Refinery. The average exposure level of SO2 and NO2 was monitored at 20 locations in the study area (Manelwaththa and Gonawala).

34. Average SO2 and NO2 levels at Gonawala area.

Figure iv: Average SO2 and NO2 Levels at Gonawala Area.

Source: Air Analysis Report of NBRO.

35. Average SO2 and NO2 level at Manelwaththa area.

Figure v: Average SO2 and NO2 Level at Manelwaththa Area.

Source: Air Analysis Report of NBRO.

36. Spatial variation SO2 level in Sapugaskandha monitored by passive Air quality monitoring technique.

Figure vi: Spatial Variation of SO2 Level.

Source: Air Analysis Report of NBRO.

37. Spatial variation of NO2 level in Sapugaskandha area monitored by passive Air quality monitoring technique.

Figure vii : Spatial Variation of NO2 Level.

Source: Air Analysis Report of NBRO.

38. By considering this air analysis with respect to NO2 and SO2 at Sapugaskandha, from 1997 to 2004 it is shown that the levels are increasing. SO2 and NO2 level are scattered in the area through the year.

39. How every when NO2 level of Sapugaskandha is compared with Colombo metropolitan area, the level is low. But the level is gradually increasing. It has been already proved that Colombo is suffering very much from illnesses in relation to air pollution.

Figure viii : Comparison of NO2 level between Sapugaskandha and Colombo.

Source: Air Analysis Report of NBRO.

40. In this analysis since descriptive statistics has been used to seek the strong relationship between toxic gasses and health effects. In one hand health situation in Mabima area was statistically tested and on the other hand air quality in the area was analyzed. It is observed that both factors are at proportionally increasing levels. Hence a strong relationship is proved.

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