This study aims to evaluate the air quality on Langkawi Island, a famous tourist destination in Malaysia, using 13 years of data (1999-2011) recorded by the Malaysian Department of Environment. Variations of seven air pollutants (O3, CO, NO, NO2, NOx, SO2 and PM10) and three meteorological factors (temperature, humidity and wind speed) were analysed. Statistical methods used to analyse the data included principal component regression (PCR) and sensitivity analysis. The results showed PM10 was the dominant air pollutant in Langkawi and values ranged between 5.0 μg m-3 and 183.2 μg m-3. The patterns of monthly values showed that the concentrations of measured air pollutants on Langkawi were higher during the south-west monsoon (June-September) due to seasonal biomass burning activities. High CO/NOx ratio values (between 28.3 and 43.6), low SO2/NOx ratio values (between 0.04 and 0.12) and NO/NO2 ratio values exceeding 2.2 indicate the source of air pollutants in this area was motor vehicles. PCR analysis grouped the seven variables into two factor components: the F1 component consisted of SO2, NO and NOx and the F2 component consisted of PM10. The F1 component (R2 = 0.931) indicated a stronger standardized coefficient value for meteorological variables compared to the F2 component (R2 = 0.059). The meteorological variables were statistically significant (p < 0.05) in influencing the distribution of the air pollutants. The status of air quality on the island could be improved through control on motor vehicle emissions as well as collaborative efforts to reduce regional air pollution, especially from biomass burning.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.