062096_cia_72224_72224_01.txt
Subject: ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF OIL FIRE

Not Finally Evaluated Intelligence







TO FACILITATE ELECTRONIC ACCESS, THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN

REFORMATTED TO ELIMINATE INFORMATION THAT DOES NOT PERTAIN

TO GULF WAR ILLNESS ISSUES OR THAT IS CLASSIFIED. A COPY OF

THIS REDACTED DOCUMENT, IN ORIGINAL FORMAT, IS AVAILABLE ON

REQUEST.







JULY 1991







KUWAIT:          ENVIRONMENTAL

IMPACT OF THE OIL FIRES



SUMMARY







POLLUTION FROM THE OIL WELL FIRES NOW BURNING IN KUWAIT

HAS IMPORTANT LOCAL AND REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES.

EVEN IF ALL FIRES ARE EXTINGUISHED BY MAY 1992,

A BROAD REGION WHICH WE HAVE DIVIDED INTO THREE

WILL EXPERIENCE ELEVATED LEVELS OF SULFUR DIOXIDE AND SOOT.



THE HARDEST HIT AREA IS LIMITED TO KUWAIT AND NORTHERN SAUDI

ARABIA. IN THESE PLACES, POLLUTION CONCENTRATIONS WILL REGULARLY

EXCEED US NATIONAL AIR QUALITY STANDARDS. IN KUWAIT CITY, FOR

EXAMPLE, A FEW DAILY SULFUR DIOXIDE CONCENTRATIONS WILL REACH LEVELS

10 TIMES ABOVE US STANDARDS AND US PARTICULATE CEILINGS WILL BE

SURPASSED ON MORE THAN 100 DAYS. IN AL AHMADI--IN THE HEART OF

THE GREATER AL BURQAN OILFIELD--AIR POLLUTION WILL BE THE MOST

EXTREME, WITH PARTICULATE LEVELS OCCASIONALLY TOPPING US STANDARDS

BY A FACTOR OF 200 OR MORE. IN SAUDI ARABIA, PARTICULATES WILL

DEGRADE KHAFJI'S AIR QUALITY BELOW US STANDARDS ON NEARLY 100

DAYS. IN KUWAIT CITY POLLUTION PROBLEMS WILL BE THE MOST INTENSE IN

MID-OCTOBER, WHEN SEASONAL WEATHER PATTERNS WILL CAUSE WINDS TO

DIE DOWN AND POLLUTANTS BECOME TRAPPED UNDER TEMPERATURE

INVERSION LAYERS.







THE MODERATELY AFFECTED REGION EXTENDS FROM THE DELTA OF THE

EUPHRATES RIVER IN IRAQ-AND ADJACENT PARTS OF IRAN--SOUTH ACROSS

THE PERSIAN GULF ALMOST TO ABU DHABI, AND INLAND IN SAUDI ARABIA

TOWARD RIYADH. IN THESE PLACES, SULFUR DIOXIDE CONCENTRATIONS WILL

OCCASIONALLY REACH LEVELS THAT EXCEED US STANDARDS, BUT FOR THE MOST

PART WILL REMAIN WITHIN THEM. PARTICULATE LEVELS, HOWEVER, WILL

REGULARLY BREACH US MARKERS, OFTEN BY WIDE MARGINS. AREAS IN THE

MODERATELY AFFECTED REGION THAT ARE NORTH OF KUWAIT WILL EXPERIENCE

THEIR WORST POLLUTION IN THE FALL AND WINTER, WHILE AREAS TO THE SOUTH

RECEIVE POLLUTION-BEARING WINDS IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER.

THE SLIGHTLY AFFECTED REGION STRETCHES GREAT DISTANCES INTO

CENTRAL AND SOUTHEASTERN ASIA AND ALSO INCLUDES MOST OF SAUDI

ARABIA, IRAQ, AND IRAN. ALTHOUGH POLLUTION CONCENTRATIONS WILL BE

ELEVATED AS A RESULT OF THE FIRES, LEVELS REMAIN CONSISTENTLY WITHIN

US LIMITS. THE PERSIAN GULF AND ARABIAN PENINSULA WILL EXPERIENCE

THEIR STEEPEST POLLUTION LEVELS IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER, WHILE MORE

REMOTE SECTIONS OF THE SLIGHTLY AFFECTED REGION WILL MARK AN UPSURGE

IN POLLUTION IN THE FALL AND WINTER.



ON THE BASIS OF THESE POLLUTION LEVELS,

MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY WILL INCREASE IN THE HARDEST HIT REGION.

RELIABLE US EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES THAT HAVE ESTABLISHED A

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SULFUR DIOXIDE AND PARTICULATE LEVELS AND

SICKNESS AND DEATH FORM THE BASIS OF THE          FINDINGS THAT HEALTH

PROBLEMS WILL BE MOST PRONOUNCED IN THE AREAS CLOSEST TO THE

OILFIELDS. FOR EXAMPLE, IN AL AHMADI          IN

ADDITION TO NORMAL RATES OF ILLNESS AND DEATH, OVER 25 PERCENT OF THE

POPULATION WILL BECOME ILL ENOUGH TO SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION AND 2

PERCENT WILL DIE. PROBLEMS DROP OFF RAPIDLY IN KUWAIT CITY, WHERE

7.6 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION IS PROJECTED TO GET SICK FROM THE

POLLUTION AND 6 PERCENT IS PROJECTED TO DIE. BEYOND KUWAIT, ONK

KHATI FACES SIGNIFICANT INCREASED ILLNESS BECAUSE OF THE SMOKE.







POLLUTION LEVELS WILL GROW IF FIREFIGHTERS EXPERIENCE GREATER

THAN EXPECTED DIFFICULTIES IN EXTINGUISHING THE FIRES. TROUBLESOME

FIRES, DIFFICULT OILFIELD OPERATIONAL CONDITIONS, BUREAUCRACY AND

MANAGEMENT PROBLEMS, OR UNPREDICTABLE EVENTS COULD DELAY

PROGRESS. IF SUCH DELAYS CAUSE FIREFIGHTING EFFORTS TO TAKE TWO

YEARS, THE          ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS WILL WORSEN

IN ALL THREE REGIONS. IN THE HARDEST HIT AREA, THE NUMBER OF DAYS

DURING WHICH AIR QUALITY WILL FAIL TO MEET US STANDARDS RISES 40

PERCENT COMPARED TO THE ONE YEAR TIMETABLE FOR EXTINGUISHING THE

BLAZES. IN THE MODERATELY AND SLIGHTLY AFFECTED AREAS, THE NUMBER

OF DAYS WITH SUBSTANDARD AIR BECAUSE OF PARTICLES INCREASES

SUBSTANTIALLY, NEARLY DOUBLING IN MANY CITIES. FIREFIGHTING ACTIVITY

IN THE EARLY SUMMER MONTHS WILL BE CRITICAL. IF UNFORESEEN EVENTS

BRING SUCH EFFORTS TO A VIRTUAL STANDSTILL, SEASONAL WIND PATTERNS AND

TEMPERATURE INVERSIONS WILL CAUSE POLLUTION LEVELS IN THE HARD HIT

REGION TO ESCALATE BEYOND THOSE PROJECTED IN THE ONE YEAR SCENARIO

WHILE MODERATELY AND SLIGHTLY AFFECTED AREAS SEE SHARP INCREASES M

THE NUMBER OF DAYS WITH AIR DEGRADED BY PARTICULATES.





THE KUWAITI OIL FIRES



OVER HALF OF KUWAIT'S 1,000 OIL WELLS WERE IGNITED-AND MOST OF THE

REST WERE DAMAGED-BY THE IRAQIS AS THEY WITHDREW FROM KUWAIT.1 IN TOTAL,

INDUSTRY EXPERTS ESTIMATE THAT THESE FIRES ARE BURNING UP TO 4-6 MILLION BARRELS A

DAY (B/D) OF CRUDE OIL.



THE GREATER AL BURQAN OILFIELD, WITH ABOUT 700 WELLS--OF WHICH 365 (51

PERCENT) WERE I@TED--IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FIELD IN TERMS OF HOW MUCH OIL IT

PRODUCES, ITS NUMBER OF WELLS AND FIRES, AND THE AMOUNT OF SMOKE IT GENERATES.

BECAUSE MOST OIL IN THE FIELD CONTINUALLY FLOWS TO THE SURFACE NATURALLY AS A



1 THESE FIGURES EXCLUDE THE 300 OR SO PRODUCING WELLS IN THE ONSHORE NEUTRAL ZONE.

APPROXIMATELY 90 OF THOSE LOW PRESSURE WELLS WERE SABOTAGED BY THE IRAQIS EARLY IN 
THE WAR.

ONLY A HANDFUL OF THEM CAUGHT ON FIRE.



RESULT OF HIGH SUBSURFACE PRESSURE, THE FIRES WILL CONTINUE TO RAGE UNTIL

FIREFIGHTERS TACKLE EACH ONE. THE AL BURQAN FIELD IS THE FIELD THAT IS CLOSEST TO

KUWAIT CITY AND OTHER COMMUNITIES ON THE COAST. ITS NORTHERN SECTION ALMOST

ABUTS KUWAIT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AND THE COMMUNITY OF AL AHMADI IS

NESTLED IN ITS CENTER. KUWAIT'S OTHER FIELDS ARE SMALLER, PRODUCE CONSIDERABLY

LESS OIL, AND ARE MORE DISTANT FROM POPULATION CENTERS THAN THE GREATER AL

BURQAN.







THE POLLUTION MOST LIKELY TO RESULT FROM

THE FIRES.

TO PREDICT FOUR

KEY ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS:



SULFUR DIOXIDE CONCENTRATION. THIS MEASURE REFERS TO THE AMOUNT OF

SULFUR DIOXIDE (SO2) SUSPENDED IN THE AIR. MEASUREMENTS ARE EXPRESSED

IN TERMS OF MICROGRAMS PER CUBIC METER. IN THE UNITED STATES, THE EPA

HAS SET A STANDARD FOR THE MAXIMUM DAILY SULFUR DIOXIDE AVERAGE-WHICH

MAY BE EXCEEDED ONLY ONCE A YEAR--AT 365 MICROGRAMS PER CUBIC METER.



SULFUR DIOXIDE DEPOSITION. THIS MEASURE REFERS TO THE AMOUNT OF SULFUR

DIOXIDE THAT ACCUMULATES ON THE GROUND OVER A PERIOD OF TIME, EXPRESSED

IN GRAMS PER SQUARE METER. IT INCLUDES BOTH WET AND DRY DEPOSITION--

WHAT WAS DEPOSITED BY RAIN OR SETTLED TO THE SURFACE UNDER DRY CONDITIONS.

SCIENTISTS CONSIDER AN ANNUAL SULFUR DIOXIDE DEPOSITION RATE OF 3.2 GRAMS

PER SQUARE METER (32 KILOGRAMS PER HECTARE--16 KILOGRAMS OF PURE SULFUR)

-A CRITICAL LEVEL.







POLLUTANTS PRODUCED BY BURNING CRUDE OIL



BURNING CRUDE OIL CAN PRODUCE A WIDE RANGE OF COMBUSTION PRODUCTS. SOME

REPRESENT THE RESULTS OF BURNING THE HYDROCARBON ITSELF WHILE OTHERS

REPRESENT VARIOUS OTHER COMPONENTS THAT CAN BE CARRIED IN THE OIL SUCH AS

SULFUR OR HEAVY METALS. AMONG THE POSSIBLE PRODUCTS ARE:



POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS (PAHs).

NAPHTHALENE, 2-METHYLNAPHTHALENE, 1-

METHYLINAPTHALENE, BIPHENY1,

2, 6-DIMETHYLNAPHTHALENE, ACENAPTHTYLENE,

ACENAPTHENE, DIBENZOFURAN, FLUORENE,

PHENANTHRENE, ANTHRACENE, CARBAZOLE,

FLUORANTHENE, PYRENE, BENZO[a]ANTHRACENE,

CHRYSENE, BENZO[b]FLUORANTHENE

BENZO[k]FLOURANTHENE, BENZO[e]PYRENE,

BENZO[a]PYRENE, INDENO(1,2,3,-cd)PYRENE,

DIBENZO[a,h]ANTHRACENE, BENZO{g,h,i}PERYLENE.



INORGANIC ACIDS. HYDROCHLORIC, PHOSPHORIC,

SULFRIC, NITRIC, HYDROFLUORIC.



METALS. PLATINUM, TITANIUM, MOLYBDENUM,

ZIRCONIUM, SILVER, ALUMINUM, BERYLLIUM, CADMIUM,

CALCIUM, CHROMIUM, COBALT, COPPER, IRON,

MAGNESIUM, MANGANESE, SODIUM, NICKEL, LEAD, TIN,

VANADIUM, ZINC.



VOLATILE ORGANICS. 1,1,1-TRICHLOROETHANE,

CYCLOHEXANE, CARBON TETRACHLORIDE, BENZENE,

CYCLOHEXENE, n-HEPTANE (n-C7), 1,2-

DICHLORPROPANE, TRICHLOROETHANE, 1,4-DIOXANE

METHYCYCLOHEXANE, METHYLISOBUTYLKETONE, TOLUENE,

n-OCTANE (n-C8), TETRACHLOROETHANE,

CHLOROBENZENE, ETHLYBENZENE, PARA-XYLENE,

BROMOFORM, STYRENE, o-XYLENE, n-NONENE, n-NONANE

(n-C9), 1,1,2,2-TETRACHLOROETHANE, CUMENE,

MESITYLENE, ALPH-METHYLSTYRENE, 1,3-

DICHLOROBENZENE, 1,4-DICHLOROBENZENE, 1.2-

DICHLOROBENZENE, BENZYL CHLORIDE, APLPHA-TERPINE,

D-LIMONENE, 4-TERT-BUTYLTOLUENE, 1,1,4-

TRICHLOROBENZENE, NAPHTHALENE, 4-

PHENYLCYCLOHEXENE, n-DECANE (n-C100, n-DECENE, n-

UNDECENE, n-UNDECENE, (n-C11), n-NONANAL,

n-DODECANE (n-C12), n-TRIDECANE (n-C13), n-

TETRADECANE (n-C14), n-PENTANE (n-C15), n-

HEXADECANE (n-C16).



OTHERS. FORMALDEHYDE AND SULFUR DIOXIDE.





PARTICULATE CONCENTRATION. THIS MEASURE REFERS TO THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF

SMOKE PARTICLES--MOSTLY SOOT--THAT IS SUSPENDED IN THE AIR. IT IS EXPRESSED

IN MICROGRAMS PER CUBIC METER. THE US STANDARD FOR BOTH DAILY AND

ANNUAL AVERAGE PARTICULATE CONCENTRATIONS IS 150 MICROGRAMS PER CUBIC

METER.



PARTICULATE DEPOSITION. THIS MEASURE REFERS TO HOW MUCH SOOT IS

DEPOSITED ON THE GROUND. ILE DEPOSITION IS EXPRESSED IN GRAMS PER

SQUARE METER. NO REGULATORY STANDARD HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED FOR

ACCEPTABLE LEVELS.







VALUES ACCORDING TO TWO SCENARIOS FOR

EXTINGUISHING THE BLAZES:



IN THE MAIN SCENARIO, FIREFIGHTING EFFORTS ARE JUDGED TO TAKE ONE YEAR.

FIFTY PERCENT OF THE FIRES WOULD BE PUT OUT BY SEPTEMBER 1991 AND THE

REMAINING 50 PERCENT WOULD TAKE ANOTHER EIGHT MONTHS TO EXTINGUISH.



IN THE ALTERNATE SCENARIO, TWO YEARS ARE NEEDED TO PUT OUT THE FIRES.

FORTY PERCENT WOULD BE EXTINGUISHED BY NOVEMBER 1991, 88 PERCENT

WOULD BE OUT BY NOVEMBER 1992, AND THE REMAINING WELLS WOULD BE

CONTROLLED BY MAY 1993.



THE MAIN SCENARIO







OVERALL TRENDS MAJOR DIFFERENCES IN POLLUTION

LEVELS BY REGION AND BY SEASON. HARDEST HIT WILL BE KUWAIT AND NORTHERN SAUDI

ARABIA. IN THESE AREAS, LATE SUMMER IS LIKELY TO SEE A WORSENING OF POLLUTION

LEVELS AS TEMPERATURE INVERSIONS TRAP THE SUBSTANCES NEAR THE GROUND.

GENERALLY, AS DISTANCE FROM KUWAIT INCREASES AND THE PLUME BECOMES MORE

DILUTE, POLLUTION LEVELS DROP. SEASONAL WEATHER PATTERNS, HOWEVER,

OCCASIONALLY CAUSE UPSWINGS IN POLLUTION EVEN IN REMOTE AREAS.



HARDEST HIT AREAS. IN THESE AREAS, THE HIGH END OF THE PROJECTED

POLLUTANT CONCENTRATIONS WILL REGULARLY EXCEED US NATIONAL AIR QUALITY

STANDARDS. IN KUWAIT CITY, A FEW BAD DAYS ARE PROJECTED TO EXPERIENCE SULFUR

DIOXIDE CONCENTRATION LEVELS OVER 10 TIMES HIGHER THAN THE ACCEPTABLE US DAILY

AVERAGE. OVER THE ENTIRE THE 14 MONTHS BETWEEN I MARCH 1991 AND I MAY

1992, HOWEVER, ONLY ABOUT 30 DAYS ARE PROJECTED TO EXCEED THE US STANDARD.

IN MINA AL AHMADI-IN THE HEART OF THE GREATER AL BURQAN OILFIELD-THE MOST

POLLUTED DAYS WILL BE FAR WORSE THAN IN KUWAIT CITY, WITH ABOUT A DOZEN DAYS

HAVING AVERAGE SULFUR DIOXIDE CONCENTRATIONS THAT COULD EXCEED 10,000

MICROGRAMS PER CUBIC METER AND ABOUT 80 DAYS THAT COULD EXCEED THE US DAILY

STANDARD. IN KUWAIT, PARTICULATE CONCENTRATIONS IN SOME COMMUNITIES AND

OILFIELDS ARE PROJECTED TO BE 100 TIMES HIGHER THAN US STANDARDS ON SOME DAYS.

KUWAIT CITY, AL AHMADI, AND MINA ABD ALLAH WILL HAVE OVER 100 DAYS THAT

WILL NOT MEET US AIR QUALITY STANDARDS FOR PARTICULATES. IN SAUDI ARABIA,

QUALITY WILL NOT MEET US STANDARDS FOR PARTICULATES ON 93 DAYS.



THE HARDEST HIT AREAS ARE PROJECTED TO RECEIVE SUBSTANTIAL TOTAL DEPOSITS

OF SULFUR AND SOOT ON THE GROUND. DEPOSITION OF SULFUR DIOXIDE IN KHAIJI WILL

TOTAL 48.9 GRAMS PER SQUARE METER. IN THE SOUTHERN AL BURQAN OILFIELD, 182

GRAMS OF SOOT PER SQUARE METER WILL SETTLE ON THE SURFACE, THE GREATEST AMOUNT

PROJECTED          ANYWHERE.



THE POLLUTION LEVEL WILL VARY BY SEASON AS A RESULT OF CHANGING WEATHER.

PATTERNS AND A GRADUAL EXTINGUISHMENT OF THE FIRES:



FROM MARCH THROUGH APRIL 1991, THE SMOKE WAS PRODUCED BY THE FULL

COMPLEMENT OF BURNING WELLS AND A FEW DAYS IN MARCH 1991 WERE AMONG

THE WORST THAT WILL OCCUR.



THROUGH JULY 1991, THE AMOUNT OF SMOKE WILL BE CUT QUICKLY AS FIRES ARE

EXTINGUISHED, BUT WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL AGGRAVATE POLLUTION PROBLEMS.

ALTHOUGH BRISK WINDS FROM THE NORTH AND NORTHWEST WILL KEEP KUWAIT'S

COASTAL COMMUNITIES LARGELY FREE OF SMOKE, IT WILL BUILD UP ON CALM DAYS.

THIS PROBLEM, COMBINED WITH NIGHTTIME TEMPERATURE INVERSIONS--WHICH

TYPICALLY TRAP POLLUTANTS NEAR THE GROUND--WILL RESULT IN SEVERAL DAY'S

WORTH OF SMOKE ACCUMULATING IN KUWAIT'S COASTAL REGION, GENERATING

SEVERE POLLUTION.



FROM AUGUST THROUGH OCTOBER, AIR POLLUTION WILL SHARPLY INCREASE EVEN

THOUGH 45 PERCENT OF THE FIRES WILL BE OUT. WINDS IN THE REGION DIE

DOWN, AND BOTH DAY AND NIGHTTIME TEMPERATURE INVERSIONS WILL KEEP THE

POLLUTANTS CLOSE TO THE GROUND. OCTOBER SMOKE CONDITIONS IN KUWAIT WILL

BE THE WORST OF THE YEAR. ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF THE DAYS PROJECTED TO

EXCEED US STANDARDS FOR SULFUR DIOXIDE IN KUWAIT CITY WILL OCCUR IN THE

FALL.



AFTER JANUARY, PROBLEMS TAPER OFF RAPIDLY. THE AMOUNT OF SMOKE

PRODUCED WILL BE FAR REDUCED AND BRISK WINDS WILL DISPERSE IT QUICKLY.



MODERATELY AFFECTED AREAS. THE MODERATELY AFFECTED AREAS WILL

STRETCH FROM THE DELTA OF THE EUPHRATES RIVER IN IRAQ-AND ADJACENT PARTS OF

IRAN--SOUTH ACROSS THE PERSIAN GULF ALMOST TO ABU DHABI AND WILL EXTEND INLAND

IN SAUDI ARABIA TOWARDS RIYADH. SULFUR DIOXIDE CONCENTRATIONS WILL

OCCASIONALLY REACH LEVELS THAT EXCEED US STANDARDS BUT, FOR THE MOST PART, WILL

REMAIN WELL WITHIN THEM. PARTICULATE LEVELS, HOWEVER, WILL REGULARLY EXCEED

US STANDARDS, OFTEN BY WIDE MARGINS. FOR AREAS IN IRAQ JUST NORTHEAST OF

KUWAIT,          PROJECTS PEAKS OF AROUND 3,000 MICROGRAMS PER CUBIC METER

OF WILL HAVE 15 DAYS WITH SULFUR DIOXIDE CONCENTRATIONS

EXCEEDING 365 MICROGRAMS PER CUBIC METER AND UMM QASR 24. ALONG THE

COAST TO THE SOUTH, IN AL JUBAYL AND DHAHRAN, THE CONCENTRATION LEVEL ONLY

OCCASIONALLY WILL EXCEED US DAILY STANDARDS. IN IRAQ, NEAR THE KUWAITI BORDER,

PARTICULATES WILL REGULARLY RISE TO LEVELS 20 TIMES GREATER THAN US STANDARDS

WHILE IN AL JUBAYL AND DHAHRAN PARTICULATES WILL BE FOUR OR FIVE TIMES HIGHER

THAN US STANDARDS. SAUDI ARABIA FROM DHAHRAN NORTH WILL RECEIVE AS MUCH AS

3.0 GRAMS PER SQUARE METER OF SO2 (15 KILOGRAMS OF SULFUR PER HECTARE) BY

MAY 1992, CLOSE TO THE CRITICAL LOAD. IRAN WILL RECEIVE UP TO 1 GRAM OF SULFUR

DIOXIDE DEPOSITION (5 KILOGRAMS OF PURE SULFUR PER HECTARE) AS FAR AS 250

KILOMETERS INLAND FROM THE GULF COAST.







THE POLLUTION WILL HIT DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE MODERATELY AFFECTED REGION

AT DIFFERENT TIMES OF THE YEAR:



FROM JUNE THROUGH AUGUST, THE INCREASINGLY BRISK WINDS FROM THE NORTH

AND NORTHWEST WILL CARRY SMOKE DOWN THE SAUDI COAST, WHILE AREAS NORTH

OF KUWAIT WILL BE FREE OF SMOKE. JUNE AND JULY WILL BE WORSE MONTHS

FOR AL JUBAYL, DHAHRAN, AND MANAMA THAN APRIL AND MAY WERE.



FROM SEPTEMBER THROUGH NOVEMBER, WINDS WILL OCCASIONALLY TRANSPORT

SMOKE TOWARD IRAQ AND IRAN, ALTHOUGH MUCH OF IT WILL STILL MOVE

SOUTHWARD.



FROM DECEMBER THROUGH FEBRUARY, A LARGER SHARE OF THE SMOKE WILL

TRAVEL TOWARDS IRAQ AND IRAN THAN AT ANY TIME OF YEAR. BECAUSE SO MANY

FIRES SHOULD BE EXTINGUISHED BY THE END OF JANUARY, HOWEVER, THE

SMOKE'S CONCENTRATION WILL BE FAINT.



FROM MARCH THROUGH MAY, AREAS TO THE NORTH OF KUWAIT ARE GENERALLY

UPWIND OF THE SMOKE. MOST SMOKE WILL MOVE TO THE SOUTHEAST, ALMOST

PARALLEL WITH THE SAUDI COASTLINE. PASSING HIGH AND LOW PRESSURE CELLS ARE

ACCOMPANIED BY WINDS THAT SWING AROUND THE COMPASS, HOWEVER, WHICH

OCCASIONALLY WILL BLOW SMOKE TOWARD IRAN AND IRAQ.







BLACK RAIN: WHAT THE PRESS REPORTS



PRESS REPORTING ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THE KUWAITI OIL FIRE

SMOKE INCLUDES MANY REPORTS OF BLACK RAIN AND ALWAYS ATTRIBUTES IT TO THE

SMOKE FROM THE OIL FIRES. THE FIRST BLACK RAIN REPORTED IN THE PRESS OCCURRED

ON 22 JANUARY IN BUSHEHR, A COASTAL COMMUNITY IN IRAN ACROSS THE GULF FROM

KUWAIT. SINCE THEN, BLACK RAIN HAS BEEN FREQUENTLY REPORTED IN WESTERN

IRAN. BLACK RAIN ATTRIBUTED TO SMOKE FROM KUWAIT HAS ALSO BEEN REPORTED IN

KUWAIT, TURKEY, AND ETHIOPIA. REFERENCE HAS ALSO BEEN MADE IN THE PRESS

TO BLACK RAIN IN SYRIA AND AFGHANISTAN.

BLACK SNOW HAS BEEN REPORTED TWICE, FIRST IN MID-MARCH IN SOUTHWESTERN

IRAN AND THEN IN EARLY APRIL IN THE HIMALAYAS.



SLIGHTLY AFFECTED AREAS. THE OIL FIRE SMOKE WILL TRAVEL FAR BEYOND THE

PERSIAN GULF REGION, ITS MOVEMENT BROADLY CONTROLLED BY LARGE ATMOSPHERIC

PRESSURE AND CIRCULATION PATTERNS THAT WILL ENTRAIN THE SMOKE AND TRANSPORT IT

GREAT DISTANCES. BECAUSE THE SMOKE CONCENTRATIONS DROP SO QUICKLY, US

STANDARDS WILL NOT BE EXCEEDED AND MOST OF SAUDI ARABIA, IRAQ, AND IRAN WILL

BE SLIGHTLY AFFECTED. THE SMOKE'S TOTAL IMPACT SHOULD BE SLIGHT AS IT SWINGS

ACROSS THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, OVER IRAQ, IRAN, AND THE INDIAN OCEAN, AND INTO

CENTRAL AND SOUTHEASTERN ASIA. BY MAY 1992, IRAN WILL HAVE RECEIVED OVER 100

MILLIGRAMS OF SULFUR DIOXIDE PER SQUARE METER AND ANOTHER 100 MILLIGRAMS OF

PARTICULATES PER SQUARE METER ALONG ITS NORTHERN AND EASTERN BORDERS. INDIA ALSO

WILL RECEIVE AS MUCH AS 100 MILLIGRAMS OF SULFUR DIOXIDE PER SQUARE METER BY

MAY 1992.







IMPACT ON HEALTH AND CROPS



PROJECTED POLLUTION LEVELS TO DETERMINE THE SMOKE'S

IMPACT ON HEALTH. RELIABLE US EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES HAVE ESTABLISHED THE

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SULFUR DIOXIDE AND PARTICULATE LEVELS AND MORBIDITYa

AND MORTALITY. THESE STUDIES PROVIDE THE BASIS FOR THE MODEL'S FINDINGS THAT

IN AREAS IN KUWAIT AND NEIGHBORING PARTS OF SAUDI ARABIA, SULFUR DIOXIDE

AND PARTICULATES WILL BE GREAT ENOUGH TO RESULT IN ILLNESS AND EVEN DEATH. IN

KUWAIT CITY, A MORBIDITY RATE OF 7,600 PER 100,000 PEOPLE AND A MORTALITY

RATE OF 580 PER 100,000 ARE PROJECTED. IN AL AHMADI, OVER 25,000 PER

100,000 WILL BECOME ILL WHILE 2,000 PER 100,000 WILL DIE. BEYOND KUWAIT,

ONLY KHAFJI WILL FACE SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED ILLNESS BECAUSE OF THE SMOKE.







a ILLNESSES SEVERE ENOUGH SO THAT IN AN INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRY, THE PATIENT WOULD 
SEEK A DOCTOR'S CARE.







SEASONAL DEPOSITION PATTERNS WILL VARY:



THROUGH JULY, THE PERSIAN GULF AND ARABIAN PENINSULA WILL BEAR THE

BRUNT OF THE POLLUTANTS FROM THE SMOKE. THE PLUME WILL DEGRADE AIR

QUALITY OF RIYADH, JEDDAH, AND MECCA MORE DURING THE SUMMER THAN AT

ANY OTHER TIME OF YEAR. AS THE SMOKE TRAVELS EAST IT WILL PASS OVER OMAN

AND YEMEN AND WILL CROSS THE ARABIAN SEA AND PASS OVER INDIA IN A BROAD

SWATH. THE MONSOON WILL CARRY POLLUTION OVER THE MMALAYAS AND EVEN

LHASA WILL PROBABLY SEE A FEW DAYS WITH TRAR-ES OF KUWAITI SULFUR DIOXIDE

AND SOOT.



FROM AUGUST THROUGH OCTOBER, THE WIND WILL CARRY SMOKE INTO SAUDI

ARABIA AND DEEPLY INTO ASIA. SOME SMOKE WILL ALSO TRAVEL EASTWARD OVER

CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN IRAN. BY THE END OF OCTOBER, SMOKE FROM KUWAIT

WILL BE REACHING WELL INTO SOVIET CENTRAL ASIA.



FROM NOVEMBER THROUGH JANUARY, CITIES IN THE EASTERN ARABIAN PENINSULA

AS FAR AS MUSCAT WILL EXPERIENCE SLIGHTLY ELEVATED LEVELS OF SO6T AS WINDS

BLOW TOWARD THE SOUTHEAST. WINDS FROM THE SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST--

TYPICALLY PRECEDING THE ARRIVAL OF STORM SYSTEMS--WILL CARRY SMOKE INTO

IRAQ AND UP THE VALLEY OF THE TIGRIS RIVER INTO. EASTERN TURKEY. AR OF

IRAN--AFTER A BREAK FROM THE SMOKE OVER THE SUMMER AND EARLY FALL--WIR

AGAIN BE SUBJECT TO KUWAITI OIL FIRE SMOKE IN NOVEMBER, WHEN WINDS

FROM THE WEST CARRY THE PLUME ACROSS IT TOWARD PALDSTAN AND NORTHERN

INDIA. KARACHI WILL SEE A SPIKE IN ITS PARTICULATE COUNT AS OIL SMOKE

REACHES IT IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER BUT THE SMOKE WILL BE DILUTE BY

THE TIME IT REACHES PALDSTAN.



FROM FEBRUARY THROUGH APRIL WINDS ACCOMPANYING PASSING STORMS WILL

CONTINUE TO CARRY SMOKE UP THE TIGRIS RIVER VALLEY IN IRAQ INTO TURKEY,

ACROSS IRAN, AND SWEEP SMOKE ACROSS EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA TO ETHIOPIA

AND SOMALIA.





ASSESSING THE CANCER RISK



ESTIMATES OF CANCER RISK FROM THE SMOKE ARE MORE DIFFICULT TO MAKE,

THAN PROJECTIONS OF MORBIDITY AND MORTALITY. THE STANDARD STUDIES THAT

PROVIDE THE BASIS FOR ASSESSING THE CANCER RISK ARE NOT EXACTLY APPLICABLE--

THEY LOOK AT EXPOSURE OVER MANY YEARS TO LOW LEVELS OF POLLUTANTS WHILE

PEOPLE IN KUWAIT WILL BE E@POSED TO A BRIEF PERIOD OF EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH

POLLUTION. ALL THAT IS KNOWN FOR SURE IS THAT IN THE BASELINE STUDIES-

ASSUMING A 70-YEAR LIFESPAN-AFTER AN EXPOSURE THRESHOLD IS REACHED, A

CERTAIN NUMBER OF PEOPLE WILL DEVELOP CANCER 10 TO 25 YEARS LATER. THE

ESTIMATES OF THE CANCER RISK FOLLOW THE ADVICE OF ACADEMIC EXPERTS

IN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGY, WHO RECOMMEND

USING CONVENTIONAL EXPOSURE LEVELS SINCE THERE IS NO SUITABLE ALTERNATIVE.



ON THE BASIS OF THESE STUDIES, LONG-TERM CANCER

RISKS WILL RISE IN KUWAIT AND NORTHERN SAUDI ARABIA. AL AHMADI AND MINA

ABD ALLAH SHOW THE HIGHEST INCREASES--OVER 10,000 CASES PER 100,000--

WHILE KUWAIT CITY AND KHAFJI ARE ROUGHLY COMPARABLE--RISING BY AROUND

3,000 CASES PER 100,000. OTHER CITIES DOWN THE SAUDI ROAST WOULD SEE

MODERATE INCREASES IN THE CANCER RISK--AROUND 200 ADDITIONAL CASES PER

100,000.b



THE GREATEST THREAT COMES FROM THE SMALLEST PARTICLES. AMONG THEM,

THE ONES OF MOST CONCERN ARE POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS (PAH).C

LESS THAN 10 MICRONS IN SIZE, THEY ARE INHALED DEEP INTO THE LUNGS BUT ARE

SLOW TO BE CLEARED FROM THEM. ONE PAH PARTICLE, BENZO(a)PYRENE--BAP--IS

A WELL-STUDIED CARCINOGEN.







b FOR PURPOSES OF COMPARISON, THE BASELINE CANCER RISK IN THE UNITED STATES IS

CONSIDERED TO BE 25,000 PER 100,000.

c PAH ARE OFTEN CALLED PM10, SHORT FOR PARTICULATE MATTER LESS THAN 10 MICRONS IN

DIAMETER.







POLLUTION LEVELS



SLOWER PROGRESS IN PUTTING OUT THE FIRES WOULD HAVE PRONOUNCED IMPACT

IN THE HARDEST HIT REGION. IN THAT AREA, THE NUMBER OF DAYS WITH POOR AIR

QUALITY BECAUSE OF BOTH SULFUR DIOXIDE AND PARTICULATES WOULD GO UP. THE TOTAL

NUMBER OF DAYS EXCEEDING US AIR QUALITY STANDARDS FOR SULFUR DIOXIDE

CONCENTRATION WOULD INCREASE ABOUT 40 PERCENT COMPARED TO THE MAIN ONE-YEAR

SCENARIO, WITH MOST OF THE ADDITIONAL DAYS OCCUR-ZING IN THE FIRST YEAR. IN

KUWAIT CITY, FOR EXAMPLE, EPA STANDARDS FOR SULFUR DIOXIDE LEVELS WOULD BE

EXCEEDED ON 40 DAYS RATHER THAN 30 IN THE FIRST YEAR, AND THREE DAYS IN THE

SECOND YEAR. IN THE SAME PLACE, THE NUMBER OF DAYS EXCEEDING ACCEPTABLE

PARTICULATE STANDARDS WOULD INCREASE ABOUT 25 PERCENT, WITH 141 DAYS

SURPASSING EPA STANDARDS RATHER THAN THE 133 DAYS OF THE MAIN SCENARIO, AND

25 DAYS SURPASSING THE STANDARDS IN THE SECOND YEAR. IN KHAFJI, TO THE SOUTH,

THE NUMBER OF DAYS EXCEEDING THE STANDARD FOR PARTICULATES WOULD SURGE OVER

70 PERCENT WITH 114 DAYS OVER THE LIMIT IN THE FIRST YEAR COMPARED TO 93, AND

46 DAYS IN THE SECOND.



IN THE MODERATELY AND SLIGHTLY AFFECTED AREAS, THE IMPACT OF SLOWER

PROGRESS ON THE NUMBER OF DAYS WITH SUBSTANDARD AIR DUE TO SULFUR DIOXIDE

WOULD BE NEGLIGIBLE, BUT THE NUMBER OF DAYS WITH ELEVATED PARTICULATE LEVELS

WOULD INCREASE SUBSTANTIALLY. IN DHAHRAN, FOR EXAMPLE, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF

DAYS FAILING TO MEET US STANDARDS FOR PARTICULATES WOULD ALMOST DOUBLE, WITH

56 DAYS INSTEAD OF 37 IN THE FIRST YEAR, AND 15 DAYS IN THE SECOND YEAR. IN

TEHRAN, PARTICULATE LEVELS WOULD EXCEED US STANDARDS FOR 13 DAYS, VERSUS NINE

DAYS IN THE MAIN SCENARIO.



PROBLEMS IN ALL AREAS WOULD BE WORSE IF FIREFIGHTING DELAYS ARE

ENCOUNTERED DURING THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. BECAUSE CALM WINDS AND TEMPERATURE

INVERSIONS IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER AGGRAVATE AIR POLLUTION, FIREFIGHTING EFFORTS

IN THE EARLY SUMMER OF 1991 WILL BE CRITICAL. IF UNFORESEEN EVENTS SIGNIFICANTLY

SLOW THE FIREFIGHTING EFFORT DURING THAT PERIOD, SULFUR DIOXIDE AND PARTICULATE

CONCENTRATIONS IN THE HARDEST HIT AREAS WOULD ESCALATE BEYOND THE LEVELS

PROJECTED FOR LATE SUMMER IN OUR MAIN SCENARIO. MODERATELY AND SLIGHTLY

AFFECTED AREAS WOULD SEE THEIR AIR QUALITY PLUMMET AS WELL, WITH SMOKE

PARTICLES CAUSING THE  NUMBER OF DAYS THAT  WOULD NOT MEET US STANDARDS TO LEAP

UPWARD.







LOOKING AHEAD



ACTUAL POLLUTION LEVELS AND THEIR IMPACT ON HEALTH AND CROPS MAY

DIFFER FROM THE          PROJECTIONS. THREE TYPES OF DATA THAT WILL BECOME AVAILABLE

OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS WILL PROVIDE IMPORTANT SIGNALS:



ACTUAL WEATHER DATA IN THE SUMMER AND FALL. IN 1991 THE WEATHER MAY

DIFFER SIGNIFICANTLY FROM THE TYPICAL YEARLY PATTERN

FURTHERMORE, THE FIRES AND PLUME COULD SUBSTANTIALLY ALTER LOCAL

CONDITIONS. IN A WORST CASE SCENARIO, ATMOSPHERIC SCIENTISTS INDICATE THAT,

WITHOUT WIND, THE POLLUTION COULD BUILD UP SO MUCH THAT THE GROUND

WOULD BE SHADED AND LOW INVERSIONS WOULD PERSIST THROUGH THE DAY. IN

THAT CASE, SULFUR DIOXIDE AND PARTICULATE LEVELS WOULD RISE. ALTERNATIVELY,

IF WINDS ARE BRISKER THAN TYPICAL, SMOKE CONDITIONS WOULD IMPROVE IN THE

HARDEST HIT REGION AND WORSEN IN THE MODERATELY AFFECTED AREAS.



AIR SAMPLES FROM THE PLUME.







ACTUAL MEASUREMENTS OF PARTICULATE AND SULFUR

DIOXIDE CONCENTRATIONS MAY EXCEED OR FALL SHORT OF THOSE PROJECTED BY THE

MODEL.



ACTUAL MEDICAL DATA.          PROJECTIONS OF HEALTH EFFECTS

ON STANDARD WESTERN EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES THAT MAY NOT REPLICATE BASIC

HEALTH LEVELS IN KUWAIT. IN PARTICULAR, BECAUSE THE GENERAL POPULATION IN

KUWAIT IS ALREADY SUBJECT TO RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS STEMMING FROM

NATURALLY HIGH LEVELS OF DUST, SOME SCIENTISTS BELIEVE THAT ADDITIONAL

PARTICULATES COULD HAVE A GREATER IMPACT THAN PROJECTED







WHY THE EXPERTS DISAGREE ON THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT



DECISIONS THAT ARE MADE WHEN FIRST SETTING THE PARAMETERS

CAN CAUSE MAJOR DIVERGENCES IN THE FINAL RESULTS. SOME OF THE KEY

PARAMETERS THAT ARE SET BASED ON ASSUMPTIONS RATHER THAN CURRENT

MEASUREMENTS INCLUDE:



HOW MUCH OIL IS BURNING? THIS IS DIFFICULT

TO DETERMINE BUT IT OBVIOUSLY INFLUENCES

CONCLUSIONS ABOUT MUCH POLLUTION IS BEING

PRODUCED.



HOW MUCH SOOT IS BEING PRODUCED BY THE

BURNING CRUDE OIL? ESTIMATES DIFFER, PARTLY

BECAUSE FULLY COMPARABLE CONDITIONS HAVE NOT

BEEN REPRODUCED IN THE LABORATORY.



HOW HIGH IS SMOKE RISING. JUDGING THIS

DEPENDS PARTLY ON DECIDING WHAT WEATHER

STATISTICS TO USE AND HOW TO SUMMARIZE THEM.

JUDGMENT CALLS HAVE TO BE MADE ON HOW STABLE

THE AIR IS AND HOW PERSISTENT TEMPERATURE

INVERSIONS ARE.







1.5(C)

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