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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(7), 8075-8091; doi:10.3390/ijerph120708075

The State of Ambient Air Quality in Two Ugandan Cities: A Pilot Cross-Sectional Spatial Assessment

1
Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Department of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
2
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Center for Global Public Health, School of Public Health, Rutgers University, NJ 07107, USA
3
Department of General Practice, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen 9700 RB, The Netherlands
4
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
5
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden 2333 ZA, The Netherlands
6
Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatics Unit, Department of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
7
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Gulu University, Gulu, Uganda
8
Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 11 May 2015 / Revised: 6 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 15 July 2015
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Abstract

Air pollution is one of the leading global public health risks but its magnitude in many developing countries’ cities is not known. We aimed to measure the concentration of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter <2.5 µm (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and ozone (O3) pollutants in two Ugandan cities (Kampala and Jinja). PM2.5, O3, temperature and humidity were measured with real-time monitors, while NO2 and SO2 were measured with diffusion tubes. We found that the mean concentrations of the air pollutants PM2.5, NO2, SO2 and O3 were 132.1 μg/m3, 24.9 µg/m3, 3.7 µg/m3 and 11.4 μg/m3, respectively. The mean PM2.5 concentration is 5.3 times the World Health Organization (WHO) cut-off limits while the NO2, SO2 and O3 concentrations are below WHO cut-off limits. PM2.5 levels were higher in Kampala than in Jinja (138.6 μg/m3 vs. 99.3 μg/m3) and at industrial than residential sites (152.6 μg/m3 vs. 120.5 μg/m3) but residential sites with unpaved roads also had high PM2.5 concentrations (152.6 μg/m3). In conclusion, air pollutant concentrations in Kampala and Jinja in Uganda are dangerously high. Long-term studies are needed to characterize air pollution levels during all seasons, to assess related public health impacts, and explore mitigation approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: ambient air pollution; particulate matter; nitrogen dioxide; sulfur dioxide; ozone; Uganda; Kampala; Jinja ambient air pollution; particulate matter; nitrogen dioxide; sulfur dioxide; ozone; Uganda; Kampala; Jinja
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kirenga, B.J.; Meng, Q.; van Gemert, F.; Aanyu-Tukamuhebwa, H.; Chavannes, N.; Katamba, A.; Obai, G.; Molen, T.; Schwander, S.; Mohsenin, V. The State of Ambient Air Quality in Two Ugandan Cities: A Pilot Cross-Sectional Spatial Assessment. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 8075-8091.

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