NEWS ||NESREA AIR QUALITY CONTROL MONITORING IN THE FCT

The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency carried out Air Quality Control Monitoring in some areas of the FCT. The selected sites were: Jabi Park; Airport Road, Lugbe; Kubwa Express Way; Riverplate Park Wuse II; Eagle Square; National Assembly; and NESREA Car Park.

The objective of the monitoring programme was to measure the concentration of major air pollutants such as Sulphur dioxide (SO2), Ozone (O3), Oxides of nitrogen (NOx), Nitrogen oxide (NO), Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen sulphide (H2S), Methane (CH4), Total Non-methane Hydrocarbon (TNMHC), Particulate Matter (PM) as well as noise.

The exercise was also intended to generate data on air quality to aid in taking appropriate decisions on air quality monitoring and control.

To effectively carry out this activity, data was generated using the Mobile Air Quality Control Monitoring Station and some hand-held Equipment such as AEROCET-531 Particulate Counter, Microprocessor SL-5856 Sound Level Meter and Direct-Sense Pocket PC Computer (PPC) and Gray-Wolf TG-501 Toxic Gas Probe. These parameters were instantly analyzed and the readings recorded over a 1-3hour averaging time period.

The readings showed that Jabi Park recorded the highest average concentrations of SO2, NO2,  NO, and NOx with values of 0.375ppm, 0.165ppm, 0.260ppm and 0.345ppm respectively. The value for SO2 was below the USEPA 3-hour average permissible limit of 0.5ppm, while NO2 was 50% above the WHO 1-hour averaging time standard of 0.11ppm. The high value of NO2 could be attributed to the increased vehicular emissions from the high volume of motor vehicles in and out of the park, as well as lots of open air cooking with Kerosene stoves, firewood and/or charcoal.

Findings showed also that Air-port Road, Lugbe recorded the highest average concentration of 47.83ppm for CO which is about 37% above the USEPA standard of 35.00ppm for 1-hour averaging time. The high value obtained might be attributed to the gaseous emissions from high volume of motor vehicles that ply the road, such as the heavy-duty trucks for road construction currently going on and other vehicular movements.

The O3 results obtained from all the sites were below World Health Organisation (WHO) standard of 0.08ppm for 1-hour averaging time. In the case of CH4 and TNMHC, the results obtained from all the sites ranged from 0.006ppm – 0.007ppm.  (There are no specific exposure limits for CH4, rather the O2 level should be maintained above 19.5% because CH4 causes asphyxiation).

For PM10, it was found that Kubwa Express Way, Air-port Road, Lugbe and Jabi Park had the highest average concentrations of 93.910µg/m3, 92.473µg/m3 and 83.866µg/m3 respectively, which are 370%, 362% and 319% respectively, above the Victorian EPA 1-hour averaging time concentration of 20.0µg/m3. This might be linked to the road constructions going on at Kubwa Express Way and Airport Road, Lugbe. The high value also recorded at Jabi Park may possibly be attributed to the untarred dusty roads and also some buildings under construction. NESREA Car Park recorded the least value of 3.190µg/m3 because the park is paved.

The monitoring of Noise level showed that Kubwa Express Way and Airport Road, Lugbe recorded high noise levels of 89.1dB and 83.0dB respectively. These were about 18% and 11% respectively above the maximum permissible noise level of 75dB for construction sites during the day as enshrined in the National Environmental (Noise Standards and Control) Regulations, 2009. The high noise levels obtained at both sites emanated from heavy-duty vehicles used for the on-going road construction at the time of measurement, as well as from the hooting of horns from vehicles.

On the whole, the data revealed high levels of gaseous emissions (CO, S02, NO, NOx, NO2), PM10 and noise pollution in the areas that had high concentrations of vehicular activities and road constructions.

While planning to carry out similar monitoring in different States of the federation, the Agency is already adopting measures to clean up the air within the FCT.
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