Levels of hazardous air pollutants and volatile organic compounds in low-income houses in Lagos, Nigeria.
Author(s): Azeez L., Atanda O., Adeoye M.D., Lawal A.T., Agbaogun B., Abdul-salami I.O. and Majolagbe T.A
This study investigated the levels of hazardous air pollutants (HAP) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in rooms in low-cost houses at different locations: Shomolu (R1), Mafoluku (R2) and Mushin (R3) in Lagos state. The concentrations of most of the hazardous pollutants studied exceeded limits of Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for indoor air quality. Air quality index (AQI) in rooms studied was unhealthy for sensitive people in terms of CO, unhealthy in terms of SO2 and very unhealthy in terms of NO2 while moderate air quality was obtained in terms of PM10 in most rooms; indicating that air pollutants in these rooms are capable of causing various degrees of health hazards. Hazard quotients estimated from VOCs in these rooms were all higher than unity except for toluene, ethylbenzne and benzene in some rooms indicating that long exposure could lead to significant heath damage. All cancer risks of benzene, formaldehyde and carbontetrachloride estimated exceeded 1X 10-6 , suggesting that a life-long exposure may result into serious heath defects. Factor analysis shows that cooking with kerosene, usage of gasoline generator and insecticide were the major contributors to air pollution in these rooms. Occupants’ exposure to these pollutants could be why most of them complained of wheezing, asthma attack, respiratory infections, eyes irritation, nausea and high hospital admission amongst others. Therefore, there is need to urgently tackle poverty as all affected by these pollutants were poor who live in substandard houses without kitchens.
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