Project title: Cleaner air for the inhabitans of Cluj-Napoca
Team: Eco Team Ana Aslan
2018-2019 Ana Aslan Technical College Cluj Napoca Romania 6 Student’s age: 14-15
Summary of the project
This project represents the results of an research activity, in the lab, and inspection of Cluj-Napoca`s air quality, over a period of four months (January – April 2019), an investigation achieved by the project`s authors, from the „Ana Aslan” Technical College. The Cluj-Napoca City, is in Transylvania region of Romania. Climate changes have become a reality: number of warm days in winter is higher, rainfall patterns are changed, while droughts and floods are more frequent. All these phenomena are the result of atmospheric pollution due to the rapid process of industrialization and urbanization, while global warming, ozone layer destruction, the „greenhouse effect” and acid rain are the main consequences which can be seen in our area. There is a close relationship between acid rain, ozone and “greenhouse effect”. According to the literature, among the atmospheric pollutants that increase the temperature are counting nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. Therefore we research these phenomena in city of Cluj-Napoca in order to draw the attention of population on the disastrous effects that air pollution can cause and to find solutions to reduce its level. In order to realize the project we will start the following actions at Cluj-Napoca city level: Monitoring the air temperature during January- April 2019 and comparison of the obtained results with temperature values from the same period of previous years (http://www.meteoromania.ro/clima); Monitoring of „greenhouse” gas emissions and gaseous emissions favoring the occurrence of acid rain (NO2 and SO2), through the National Air Quality Monitoring Network (www.calitateaer.ro), in Cluj-Napoca and interpreting the obtained results; Monitoring precipitation regime, sampling and investigation by pH measurement to determine the frequency of acid rain; Investigation of the acid rain effect on vegetation – experiment carried out in the environmental lab of our school (the experiment is based on the observation, investigation and processing of data on the effects of H2SO4 and HNO3 solutions of different concentrations on the germination of bean seeds and vegetative organs of wheat); Interpreting the obtained results and proposing measures to reduce atmospheric pollution and, implicitly, negative effects on the environment and quality of life.
1. Watching the air temperature on the period of study, we can observe a growth compared to the normal values with 3˚C in February, with 4˚C in March and with 2˚C in April. We compared this year’s values with the average values from 1981-2010. 2. In January and February 2019, the pH of rain was acid due to the presence of large amounts of SO2 and NOx in the atmosphere. The lowest pH value was in February (pH= 5.2). In the following months, the pH was neutral due to abundant rainfalls that have cleared the atmosphere and moderate gaseous emissions. 3. Variations in gaseous emissions concentration: Higher concentration values for SO2, NO and NOx were recorded in January and February, as well as pH acid values of precipitation. Concentrations of NO2 have exceeded the admitted value of 40 μg/m3 in January, SO2 concentrations at all sampling points were below the maximum allowable concentration (125 μg/m3), with a maximum of 21 μg/m3 in February. In April, abundant rainfall led to a lower concentration of gas in the air. 4. The acid rains stop the growing and the development of the vegetative organs. The grain was affected in proportion to the acidity (pH) of the solutions: necrosis of the leaves and green stems, stopping the growth and development of the plants, partial or total drying of the plants during the study period (15 days). For example, for the sample with pH 5 the plants were dried at 70% and the others had severe burns, necrosis on most leaves and stems. At pH 6, the percentage was 40%. In the case of bean seeds, acidity proves phytotoxic to germination, in variants with pH less than 6.5.
Actions to help lessen the problem
The campaign “Together for a Cleaner Air in Cluj ” 1. We applied an environmental questionnaire for students and parents. We asked questions about the means of transport and activities that lead to a polluted air. The analyzing of the results reveals, through the sincerity of the answers a situation that we have expected, namely the lack of education concerning the protection of the environment through direct and personal involvement, which is especially due to a lack of information. In this sense, it is relevant the percentage of 77% of the persons who recognize the fact that they are not sufficiently well informed about the pollution of the air in Cluj-Napoca. It is also sad to find that 80% of the persons who were questioned would rather go to work by car than by bicycle. Nevertheless 80% of the questioned people would like to have a carless day once a week. We mention that the age of the questioned persons is between 18 and 67. 2. Transmitting useful information, advice and messages about the environment towards the local community through handouts. 3. The guiding and the participation of students from primary and secondary school to the contest of costumes Made Out of Recyclable Materials. 4. In collaboration with Cluj-Napoca City Hall, County School Inspectorate and Cluj Police, we’ll continue the monthly bicycle march, advertising message related to: • the need for reduce urban traffic and prevent air pollution; • extending the routes provided with bicycle tracks; • declaring a day without cars on Eroilor Boulevard in Cluj-Napoca; • walk on foot or ride a bicycle; • use public transportation.
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