Atmospheric Aerosol Loading over the Urban Canopy of Port Harcourt City and its implications for the incidence of obstructive pulmonary diseases


In view of the deaths arising from obstructive pulmonary diseases, this study examined the concentration of aerosols (Total Suspended Particulates-TSP) as influenced by both landuse and meteorological parameters of wind speed, relative humidity, ambient temperature and rainfall in Port Harcourt city. Air quality and meteorological data were measured at twelve stations: two each from the industrial, high and low density residential, commercial, transportation and surrounding rural areas. Data were collected for seven weeks during wet, transition and dry seasons. Analysis of data was done using ANOVA and stepwise multiple regression techniques. Findings indicated that TSP concentration was highest in the industrial (71.9%), transportation (17.3%), Low Density Residential (LDR) (12.31%); rural (12.9%), and commercial (24%) landuse areas during the dry season. The high Density Residential (HDR) (13.98%) contributed the highest concentration of TSP during the transition period. At the high density residential areas, only air temperature (r= -0.288) during the wet season correlated inversely to the concentration of TSP; other meteorological parameters and their correlation values are rainfall (r=0.133), wind speed (r=0.409) and relative humidity (r=0.095) which correlated directly to TSP concentration. The coefficient of determination values showed that the meteorological variables, jointly accounted for 19.90% and 11.50% of the variation in the concentration of TSP during the wet and dry seasons respectively. Residents who are sensitive to the effects of TSP especially those with chronic obstructive pulmonary or cardiovascular disease must not be allowed to inhabit and spend longer hours in Woji, Nkpogu, Nchia, Aleto, Akpojo, Alesa, Ogonigba, Okrika main land, and Elelenwo communities which are sandwiched between the Trans-Amadi and Eleme industrial areas that are located down-wind of the city. Specific air pollution and environmental standards ought to be more stringent targeting sources like factories, incineration and vehicle emissions

Keywords: Port Harcourt, Respiration Infections, TSPs, Urban Canopy, land use

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 52-69 (Download PDF)

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