After the Iraqi retreat from Kuwait in 1991, airborne sampling was conducted in the oil fire plumes near Kuwait City and ground-level samples were taken of the air within the city. For the airborne sampling, a versatile air pollution sampler was used to determine the SO2, elemental concentrations, the aerosol mass loadings and SO42− and NO3 concentrations. Striking differences between the black and white plumes were associated with high concentrations of NaCl and CaCI2 measured in the white plumes and large numbers of carbon chain agglomerates in the black plumes. For the ground-based measurements, an annular denuder system was used to determine levels of SO2, SO42−, trace elements, and mass loadings. Certain pollutant levels rose in the city during inversion conditions, when winds were too weak to continue moving the combustion products directly to the Persian Gulf, and the increased levels of Pb and certain trace elements were comparable to those in other large urban areas in Europe.

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