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Air Pollution in Africa and the African Diaspora

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 18246

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Population Health Sciences, Georgia State University School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
Interests: air pollution; environmental justice; cardiovascular disease; community-engaged research; health disparities; impact of green infrastructure on air pollution and health; exposure science; environmental epidemiology

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Guest Editor
Public Health Research Group, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
Interests: epidemiology; data science; environmental health; nutrition; air pollution

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Air pollution is a ubiquitous and major threat to human health and well-being. Air pollution contributes to 7 million premature deaths every year worldwide. The main sources of air pollution globally are industrial emissions, vehicular emissions, and power generation. In lower and middle-income countries (LMICs), the combustion of solid fuels for cooking and heating and open burning of waste are other major sources. The majority of the evidence on the health effects of air pollution exposure emanates from high-income countries, notably Western Europe and North America. Among these studies are a relatively small, but growing, number of articles that describe the inequitable distribution of air pollution within and between countries. The air pollution problem in African countries and those within the African diaspora has been worsening over the last decade, especially in urban areas, due to rapid urbanization, industrialization, increased energy consumption, and motorized transportation. However, there are a comparatively small number of publications documenting the extent of exposure in these countries, the associated health effects, and control measures. This local evidence is very important for convincing governments to invest in air pollution control for population health gains.

This issue of IJERPH is designed to highlight research on air pollution conducted in African countries and within the African diaspora. This issue will hopefully inform the scientific community about the extent of the air pollution problem and the associated health burden in these populations that has been previously overlooked. In addition, we seek to galvanize new efforts to build air pollution monitoring and research capacity, showcase air pollution data, and conduct health impact assessment within African countries and the African diaspora.

Papers addressing the topic of air pollution measurement, modelling, epidemiology, and remediation within the countries of Africa and the African diaspora are invited for submission to this Special Issue. We encourage the submission of manuscripts from local researchers working within these settings.

Dr. Christina H. Fuller
Dr. A. Kofi Amegah
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • air pollution
  • Africa
  • African diaspora
  • particulate matter
  • air toxics
  • disparities
  • inequity

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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2 pages, 247 KiB  
Editorial
Limited Air Pollution Research on the African Continent: Time to Fill the Gap
by Christina H. Fuller and A. Kofi Amegah
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6359; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116359 - 24 May 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1704
Abstract
Air pollution is a major threat to human health and well-being, and improving air quality is necessary to achieve the sustainable development goals [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Africa and the African Diaspora)

Research

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20 pages, 4677 KiB  
Article
Long-Term PM2.5 Exposure Is Associated with Symptoms of Acute Respiratory Infections among Children under Five Years of Age in Kenya, 2014
by Peter S. Larson, Leon Espira, Bailey E. Glenn, Miles C. Larson, Christopher S. Crowe, Seoyeon Jang and Marie S. O’Neill
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(5), 2525; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19052525 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3231
Abstract
Introduction: Short-term exposures to air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) have been associated with increased risk for symptoms of acute respiratory infections (ARIs). Less well understood is how long-term exposures to fine PM (PM2.5) might increase risk of ARIs and [...] Read more.
Introduction: Short-term exposures to air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) have been associated with increased risk for symptoms of acute respiratory infections (ARIs). Less well understood is how long-term exposures to fine PM (PM2.5) might increase risk of ARIs and their symptoms. This research uses georeferenced Demographic Health Survey (DHS) data from Kenya (2014) along with a remote sensing based raster of PM2.5 concentrations to test associations between PM2.5 exposure and ARI symptoms in children for up to 12 monthly lags. Methods: Predicted PM2.5 concentrations were extracted from raster of monthly averages for latitude/longitude locations of survey clusters. These data and other environmental and demographic data were used in a logistic regression model of ARI symptoms within a distributed lag nonlinear modeling framework (DLNM) to test lag associations of PM2.5 exposure with binary presence/absence of ARI symptoms in the previous two weeks. Results: Out of 7036 children under five for whom data were available, 46.8% reported ARI symptoms in the previous two weeks. Exposure to PM2.5 within the same month and as an average for the previous 12 months was 18.31 and 22.1 µg/m3, respectively, far in excess of guidelines set by the World Health Organization. One-year average PM2.5 exposure was higher for children who experienced ARI symptoms compared with children who did not (22.4 vs. 21.8 µg/m3, p < 0.0001.) Logistic regression models using the DLNM framework indicated that while PM exposure was not significantly associated with ARI symptoms for early lags, exposure to high concentrations of PM2.5 (90th percentile) was associated with elevated odds for ARI symptoms along a gradient of lag exposure time even when controlling for age, sex, types of cooking fuels, and precipitation. Conclusions: Long-term exposure to high concentrations of PM2.5 may increase risk for acute respiratory problems in small children. However, more work should be carried out to increase capacity to accurately measure air pollutants in emerging economies such as Kenya. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Africa and the African Diaspora)
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12 pages, 2025 KiB  
Article
Spatial and Temporal Variations in PM10 Concentrations between 2010–2017 in South Africa
by Oluwaseyi Olalekan Arowosegbe, Martin Röösli, Temitope Christina Adebayo-Ojo, Mohammed Aqiel Dalvie and Kees de Hoogh
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13348; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413348 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2769
Abstract
Particulate matter less than or equal to 10 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10 µg/m3) is a priority air pollutant and one of the most widely monitored ambient air pollutants in South Africa. This study analyzed PM10 from monitoring 44 [...] Read more.
Particulate matter less than or equal to 10 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10 µg/m3) is a priority air pollutant and one of the most widely monitored ambient air pollutants in South Africa. This study analyzed PM10 from monitoring 44 sites across four provinces of South Africa (Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal) and aimed to present spatial and temporal variation in the PM10 concentration across the provinces. In addition, potential influencing factors of PM10 variations around the three site categories (Residential, Industrial and Traffic) were explored. The spatial trend in daily PM10 concentration variation shows PM10 concentration can be 5.7 times higher than the revised 2021 World Health Organization annual PM10 air quality guideline of 15 µg/m3 in Gauteng province during the winter season. Temporally, the highest weekly PM10 concentrations of 51.4 µg/m3, 46.8 µg/m3, 29.1 µg/m3 and 25.1 µg/m3 at Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape Province were recorded during the weekdays. The study results suggest a decrease in the change of annual PM10 levels at sites in Gauteng and Mpumalanga Provinces. An increased change in annual PM10 levels was reported at most sites in Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Africa and the African Diaspora)
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13 pages, 471 KiB  
Article
Ambient Air Pollution and Cardiorespiratory Outcomes amongst Adults Residing in Four Informal Settlements in the Western Province of South Africa
by Herman Bagula, Toyib Olaniyan, Kees de Hoogh, Apolline Saucy, Bhawoodien Parker, Joy Leaner, Martin Röösli and Mohamed Aqiel Dalvie
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(24), 13306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413306 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2599
Abstract
Few studies have investigated the relationship between ambient air pollution and cardiorespiratory outcomes in Africa. A cross-sectional study comprising of 572 adults from four informal settlements in the Western Cape, South Africa was conducted. Participants completed a questionnaire adapted from the European Community [...] Read more.
Few studies have investigated the relationship between ambient air pollution and cardiorespiratory outcomes in Africa. A cross-sectional study comprising of 572 adults from four informal settlements in the Western Cape, South Africa was conducted. Participants completed a questionnaire adapted from the European Community Respiratory Health Survey, and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey questionnaire. Exposure estimates were previously modelled using Land-Use Regression for Particulate Matter (PM2.5) and Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) at participants’ homes. The median age of the participants was 40.7 years, and 88.5% were female. The median annual NO2 level was 19.7 µg/m3 (interquartile range [IQR: 9.6–23.7]) and the median annual PM2.5 level was 9.7 µg/m3 (IQR: 7.3–12.4). Logistic regression analysis was used to assess associations between outcome variables and air pollutants. An interquartile range increase of 5.12 µg/m3 in PM2.5 was significantly associated with an increased prevalence of self-reported chest-pain, [Odds ratio: 1.38 (95% CI: 1.06–1.80)], adjusting for NO2, and other covariates. The study found preliminary circumstantial evidence of an association between annual ambient PM2.5 exposure and self-reported chest-pain (a crude proxy of angina-related pain), even at levels below the South African National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Africa and the African Diaspora)
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23 pages, 8912 KiB  
Article
The Driving Influence of Multi-Dimensional Urbanization on PM2.5 Concentrations in Africa: New Evidence from Multi-Source Remote Sensing Data, 2000–2018
by Guoen Wei, Pingjun Sun, Shengnan Jiang, Yang Shen, Binglin Liu, Zhenke Zhang and Xiao Ouyang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 9389; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18179389 - 6 Sep 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3356
Abstract
Africa’s PM2.5 pollution has become a security hazard, but the understanding of the varying effects of urbanization on driven mechanisms of PM2.5 concentrations under the rapid urbanization remains largely insufficient. Compared with the direct impact, the spillover effect of urbanization on [...] Read more.
Africa’s PM2.5 pollution has become a security hazard, but the understanding of the varying effects of urbanization on driven mechanisms of PM2.5 concentrations under the rapid urbanization remains largely insufficient. Compared with the direct impact, the spillover effect of urbanization on PM2.5 concentrations in adjacent regions was underestimated. Urbanization is highly multi-dimensional phenomenon and previous studies have rarely distinguished the different driving influence and interactions of multi-dimensional urbanization on PM2.5 concentrations in Africa. This study combined grid and administrative units to explore the spatio-temporal change, spatial dependence patterns, and evolution trend of PM2.5 concentrations and multi-dimensional urbanization in Africa. The differential influence and interaction effects of multi-dimensional urbanization on PM2.5 concentrations under Africa’s rapid urbanization was further analyzed. The results show that the positive spatial dependence of PM2.5 concentrations gradually increased over the study period 2000–2018. The areas with PM2.5 concentrations exceeding 35 μg/m3 increased by 2.2%, and 36.78% of the African continent had an increasing trend in Theil–Sen index. Urbanization was found to be the main driving factor causing PM2.5 concentrations changes, and economic urbanization had a stronger influence on air quality than land urbanization or population urbanization. Compared with the direct effect, the spillover effect of urbanization on PM2.5 concentrations in two adjacent regions was stronger, particularly in terms of economic urbanization. The spatial distribution of PM2.5 concentrations resulted from the interaction of multi-dimensional urbanization. The interaction of urbanization of any two different dimensions exhibited a nonlinear enhancement effect on PM2.5 concentrations. Given the differential impact of multi-dimensional urbanization on PM2.5 concentrations inside and outside the region, this research provides support for the cross-regional joint control strategies of air pollution in Africa. The findings also indicate that PM2.5 pollution control should not only focus on urban economic development strategies but should be an optimized integration of multiple mitigation strategies, such as improving residents’ lifestyles, optimizing land spatial structure, and upgrading the industrial structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Africa and the African Diaspora)
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11 pages, 1529 KiB  
Article
High Levels of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Concentrations from Burning Solid Fuels in Rural Households of Butajira, Ethiopia
by Mulugeta Tamire, Abera Kumie, Adamu Addissie, Mulugeta Ayalew, Johan Boman, Susann Skovbjerg, Rune Andersson and Mona Lärstad
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6942; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18136942 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2420
Abstract
The use of solid fuel, known to emit pollutants which cause damage to human health, is the primary energy option in Ethiopia. Thus, the aim of this study was to measure the level of household air pollution by using the 24-h mean concentration [...] Read more.
The use of solid fuel, known to emit pollutants which cause damage to human health, is the primary energy option in Ethiopia. Thus, the aim of this study was to measure the level of household air pollution by using the 24-h mean concentration of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in 150 randomly recruited households in rural Butajira, Ethiopia. Data relating to household and cooking practices were obtained by conducting face-to-face interviews with the mothers. The 24-h mean (standard deviation) and median PM2.5 concentrations were 410 (220) and 340 µg/m3, respectively. Households using only traditional stoves and those who did not open the door or a window during cooking had a significantly higher mean concentration compared with their counterparts. There is a statistically significant correlation between the mean concentration of PM2.5 and the self-reported cooking duration. The pollution level was up to 16 times higher than the WHO 24-h guideline limit of 25 μg/m3, thus leaving the mothers and children who spend the most time at the domestic hearth at risk of the adverse health effects from solid fuel use in Ethiopia. Thus, effective short- and long-term interventions are urgently needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution in Africa and the African Diaspora)
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