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Millions in the Middle East are at risk due to toxic gas

Toxic Pollutants Released During Gas Flaring

Flaring, or the burning of waste gas produced during oil drilling, is occurring throughout the Gulf, including in the United Arab Emirates, which is hosting COP28. According to recent research, pollution is extending hundreds of miles and degrading the region’s air quality overall. It occurs on Thursday, the same day that the UAE will host the UN’s COP28 climate summit. Images appear to indicate that flaring, which the UAE outlawed 20 years ago, is still going on. Despite the possible health risks to both its citizens and those of its neighbouring nations. According to analysis for BBC Arabic, the region’s gas concentrations are currently dispersing hundreds of kilometres.

Pollution from Wells

As part of the study, pollution from wells in Kuwait, Iran, and Iraq was also examined. Every nation that was involved either did not reply or declined to comment. The oil companies in charge of the locations where flaring occurred. Such as BP and Shell, stated that they were making efforts to curtail the practise. Leaked documents, as reported by BBC News on Monday. Demonstrated how the UAE intended to take advantage of its hosting of the UN climate talks to close oil and gas deals.

UN Special Reporter

“Very disturbing,” stated David R. Boyd, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, in response to the BBC’s findings. Millions of people’s human rights are being violated by large oil companies and Middle Eastern states. That are neglecting to address the issue of air pollution caused by fossil fuels. “Despite the massive human suffering, Big Oil and petrostates carry on with business as usual with total impunity and zero accountability.”

How the health of millions of people in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Iran, and Iraq is at risk due to the oil giants’ covert, poisonous air pollution that is spreading hundreds of kilometres.

Flaring can be prevented, and the gas can be collected and used to heat buildings or produce electricity, but it is still done all over the world.

Pollutants includes Ozone, NO2

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international experts have linked high levels of exposure to certain pollutants, such as benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), to heart disease, cancer, asthma, and strokes. Other pollutants from this type of flaring include PM2.5, Ozone, NO2, and BaP. Methane and CO2, two greenhouse gases that warm the planet, are primarily produced by global flaring.

Commitment by COP28 President

Twenty years ago, Sultan al-Jaber, the president of this year’s COP28 climate summit. Made a commitment to stop “routine flaring” at the UAE national oil company, Adnoc. However, the BBC’s analysis of satellite photos reveals that it occurs daily at offshore locations. One of the main suppliers of oil to the UK market is the United Arab Emirates.

Respiratory Diseases amongst Children

According to studies, kids who are exposed to high PM2.5 levels have a higher chance of developing asthma and chronic wheezing than kids who are not. Asthma rates in the United Arab Emirates are among the highest globally. Making respiratory diseases one of the main causes of death in the region.

There is a known quantity of pollution released whenever gas is flared. Environmental scientists collaborated with BBC Arabic to calculate the overall pollution by combining this data with the gas flare volumes, which are published by the World Bank. The movement of gases throughout the area was then estimated by a simulation that was based on the current weather. For example, the model indicated that three UAE offshore fields were contributing to air pollution hundreds of kilometres away in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.






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