Air pollution arising from Vehicular Emissions and the Associated Human Health Problems in Abeokuta Metropolis, Nigeria

Oguntoke O, Yussuf A S

Abstract


Vehicular traffic contributes immensely to urban air pollution in the less developed countries, Nigeria inclusive. The present study assessed the level of some selected air pollutants which are largely products of internal combustion in motor vehicle engines namely; nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon monoxide (CO) and methane (CH4) in Abeokuta city. Moreover, the health problems suffered by residents living near motorways were also investigated. Number of vehicles was counted at morning, afternoon and evening while gasman auto-sampler (ATEX4 model) was used for monitoring the concentrations of the five gases at the selected motorways in the city. Questionnaire survey was conducted to elicit information about perception of risks and health problems treated by the residents living near motorways. Traffic volume ranged between 792±297 and 2037±70; 641±228 and 2037±95; and 489±169 and 1875±101 at morning, afternoon and evening respectively for the various categories of motorways. The concentrations of CO, SO2, NO2, H2S and CH4 ranged between 73.72±0.92 and 82.89±3.38; 0,046±0.005 and 0.067±0.017; 0.217±0.02 and 0.399±0.02; 0.167±0.017 and 0.265±0.011; 0.171±0.024 and 0.442±0.385 mg/m3 respectively. There is significant variation (p> 0.05) in the volume of traffic and the concentrations of the sampled gases between the periods of the day at the selected motorways. There is also a significant (p> 0.05) correlation between traffic volume/density and CO (r= 0.806), NO2 (r=0.716) and H2S (r =0.704). Hence, traffic volume accounted for 15.5, 49.5, 51.2 and 64.9 percent of CH4, NO2, SO2 and CO concentrations in air sampled along the selected motorways. Health problems suffered and reported to health facilities include cough (56.4%) and breathing impairments (23.6%) among others. Measures that seek to minimize emission of pollutants from automobile are urgently required in cities of the developing countries.


Keywords


Air pollution, vehicular emissions, Nigeria, urban, health problems

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