Ambient air quality and exposure assessment study of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries: A critical review

Hamid Omidvarborna, Mahad Baawain*, Abdullah Al-Mamun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


With rapid urbanization and economic growth, many developing countries have faced a greater share of air pollutants in recent years. An increasing number of exposure studies on air pollutants have been reported lately. However, due to lack of strict regulations and monitoring stations among developing countries, such as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, limited air pollution and exposure assessment studies have been conducted in this region. Thus, the objective of this critical review was to identify the major sources of air pollutants in the region with hot and arid/semiarid climate for the main categories contributing to specific pollutants. Finally, a summary of the limitations and knowledge gaps were discussed. Additionally, the current available regulations, emission inventories and source apportionment studies in this region were discussed. In this study, the concentration levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM), metal elements, nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) were reviewed. Due to lack of scientific studies, various databases and indexed journals from early 2000 (sometimes prior that time) were considered. The review findings clearly indicated that the sand, dust (natural and anthropogenic, such as cement, metal, stone cutting industries), chemical industries (refinery, petrochemical, etc.) and transportation activities were the major contributors to the overall air pollution in the GCC countries. Besides, the study recommended that the difference between anthropogenic pollution and natural events in dust formation should be explored extensively. Furthermore, possible suggestions for future researches in the region were proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-448
Number of pages12
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - Sept 15 2018


  • Air pollutants
  • Air quality
  • Climate change
  • Exposure assessment
  • Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
  • Source apportionment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Ambient air quality and exposure assessment study of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries: A critical review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this