Air pollutions pollutant showed that the extent of spreading depends on the motor vehicle traffic population of the area. This pollution strongly generated through combustion of fossil fuels presents difficult environmental challenge to societies as it could degrade the environment and affect human health and quality of life. Vehicular emissions are major contributors to air pollution in urban areas as they contain harmful gases. The levels of carbon monoxide has been investigated in two locations of Enugu metropolis (high traffic ‟old park‟ and low traffic „caritas university‟), in order to determine its pollution status with regards to air. EL-USBCO analyzer used for the analysis indicated variations in the levels of CO for the period of study. The results obtained revealed that the concentrations of CO in high traffic (HT) area is higher than that of low traffic (LT) and is unacceptable compared with the Federal Environmental Protection agency (FEPA) Nigeria set limit. The dispersion pattern of the suggests that vehicular emission contributes to the levels of carbon monoxide in the environment.
Air pollution is associated with increasing cases of many adverse health effects,
e.g. mortality, respiratory diseases and cancer. The chemical composition of
ambient air is very complex and depends on many different factors, traffic
generated air pollution being a major source in large cities. This is especially true
in the developing world, mainly due to the high proportion of old, poorly
maintained vehicles, the abundance of two stroke vehicles and the poor fuel quality
(Baumbach et al., 1995; Gwilliam 2003). All these factors contribute to one of the
major air pollutant in urban areas; carbon monoxide (CO).
CO is a poisonous, colorless, inevitable gas that has neither taste nor smell. It is
formed when carbon burns with too little air (incomplete combustion) (Smith and
Scott, 2002). Carbon monoxide (CO), also called Carbonious oxide or Carbon (II)
Oxide and is slightly lighter than air. CO is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous
gas, produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood,
charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. Products and equipments and
machines powered by internal combustion engines such as portable generators,
cars, lawn mowers, and power washers also produce CO. It has a high affinity for
hemoglobin in blood and displaces O2 to form carboxyl hemoglobin (COHb).
This can cause dizziness, headaches and eventually death. Tobacco smoke, gas
fires, burning candles are also common sources of CO in indoor air. Internal
combustion engines are responsible for most of the CO in outdoor air (Smith and
Scott, 2002). The ambient concentration of CO is measured in parts per million
(ppm). Most of the studies on air pollution and exposure to air pollutants have been
conducted in developed countries, i.e. Western Europe and the USA (Šišvić and
Fugaš, 1987, Cernuschi et. al., 1998; and Chiara et. al., 2005). There is limited
information on exposure to air pollutants in developing tropical countries, but
some studies have been carried out in sub-Saharan Africa (Baumbach et. al., 1995;
Fanou et. al., 2005; Lindѐ n e.t al., 2007).
The population in Enugu city, the economic and administrative capital of Enugu
state, has increased rapidly in the last decade (about one million inhabitants), and
in since there is no reliable public transport system, air pollution has worsened
because of an increasing number of old second-hand cars and of taxi motorbikes
(Keke-NAPEP). Petroleum products used are also of poor quality, due to the
importation of sub-standard products into the country. No data on health effect of
air pollution in Enugu city is available to the researcher, but it is anticipated that air
pollution could become a major public health problem if adequate mitigation
measures are not taken at this time. Exposure to air pollution is normally assessed
by environmental monitoring; using either fixed monitoring stations or personal air
1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The world is presently confronted with the twin crises of environmental
degradation and fossil fuel depletion. The uncontrolled use and overexploitation of
our natural resources have also triggered other environmental issues, which
hitherto were non-existent. Some of these environmental issues include global
warming (climate change) and air pollution. The aforementioned have been shown
to have very serious health implications. Presently, fossil fuel powered engines are
noted to account for over sixty percent of the hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide
pollution which have very serious environmental and health implications,
especially in our urban areas and their surrounding communities. It is thus very
timely and pertinent within the Enugu city due to the growing use of automobiles
and diesel powered generators within the city.
CO is one of those gases that are released from these combustion processes and its
effect on our environment range from its contribution to the photochemical smog,
ground level ozone and depletion of available oxygen within the area. Its effect on
human health when its accepted threshold is exceeded include headache, irritation,
fatigue, loss of muscular coordination, loss of memory and in severe cases, death.
The effects of CO on health are most dangerous because it is both colorless and
odorless, and as such cannot be easily detected. But since these factors; that
contribute to its formation and possible increment in its concentration within the
city is present, it is necessary that a monitoring system of stations be set up to help
in the establishment and eventual monitoring of the gas so as to ensure the safety
and wellbeing of the lives of the people in the city.
1.2 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The aim of this project is to monitor CO levels within Enugu city using two cities
as our basis.
i. Identify possible „hotspots‟ for generation of CO gas within the city.
ii. Determine the distribution of CO gas within high traffic and low traffic
areas of the city.
iii. Determine the daily differences in the various sample stations.
1.3 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
HO: There is a significant difference between the carbon monoxide levels within
high traffic areas and low traffic areas.
1.4 SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of this project covers studies of CO concentrations and distribution
within Enugu city comprising of such districts as Old Park (high traffic) and
Caritas University (low traffic). The project will examine the distribution of air
pollution situation within these areas of the city. Data will be collected and
analyzed for its relevance to the question of how CO disperses in the environment.
To this end, two stations are chosen, one a high traffic (Old Park) and a low traffic
area that is primarily residential and have low traffic flow (Caritas University). The
essence of choosing these stations is to give a general overview of what the air
quality is like within the city, with one station showing the residential profile while
the other shows the commercial profile. The study will focus on only Carbon
Monoxide (CO) gas. The gas will be measured for a nine hour period for one week
at a five minutes interval using carbon monoxide sensors.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study helps in the understanding and also the monitoring of carbon
monoxide in Enugu metropolis and this will help in knowing the level of carbon
monoxide being emitted in this area.
This study will also help in minimizing the level of carbon monoxide in the
environment and also provide a means of solving the problems since motor bikes
and vehicles serves as the case study and the major contributor of carbon
monoxide in outdoor activities.
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