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Environments 2018, 5(1), 2; doi:10.3390/environments5010002

Particle (Soot) Pollution in Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria—Double Air Pollution Burden? Understanding and Tackling Potential Environmental Public Health Impacts

Department of Public Health Sciences, College of Health and Social Services Building, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001, USA
Received: 23 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 21 December 2017 / Published: 24 December 2017
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Abstract

Residents of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Nigeria, and its environs have since the last quarter of 2016 been experiencing adverse environmental impacts of particle (soot) pollution. This “double air pollution burden”—the unresolved prevailing widespread air pollution and the “added” emergence of particle pollution considered an environmental health threat, led to protests against government inaction in some parts of the state. In February 2017, several months following the onset of the pollution, the government declared an Emergency, and set up a Task Force to investigate and find a solution to the problem. Global research suggests that particle pollution correlates positively with a range of morbidities and an increased risk of mortality among exposed populations. This underscores the need for rigorous implementation of existing environmental legislations established to protect the environment and public health. Nigeria’s rapid response to the 2014–2015 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and successful prevention of its spread provides some lessons for addressing such environmental health emergencies—strategic action, including effective environmental risk communication, environmental audit, and monitoring is key. Epidemiological studies of the affected population is imperative. A concerted effort by the Rivers State Ministries of Environment and Health, as well as academia and private organizations is required. Public service campaign in terms of government providing up to date information on the existing situation is required. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollution; criteria air pollutants; double air pollution burden; environmental impact assessment (EIA); environmental management system (EMS) environmental monitoring; environmental policy; epidemiological studies; morbidity; mortality; particulate matter (PM); PM2.5; PM10; particle pollution; soot; toxicological studies air pollution; criteria air pollutants; double air pollution burden; environmental impact assessment (EIA); environmental management system (EMS) environmental monitoring; environmental policy; epidemiological studies; morbidity; mortality; particulate matter (PM); PM2.5; PM10; particle pollution; soot; toxicological studies
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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

Yakubu, O.H. Particle (Soot) Pollution in Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria—Double Air Pollution Burden? Understanding and Tackling Potential Environmental Public Health Impacts. Environments 2018, 5, 2.

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