A survey on the effects of air pollution on diseases of the people of Rivers State, Nigeria
The effect of air pollution on diseases of the people of Rivers State, Nigeria has been studied by analyzing epidemiological data collected from the State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in relation to ambient Air Quality data of the State and National Ambient Air Quality Standard data. It was found that a total number of 30,435 disease cases were reported during 2003 to 2008, out of which 61 patients died. The diseases found to be prevalent in the study area as a result of air pollution were pertussis, pulmonary
tuberculosis, cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM), pneumonia, measles, chronic bronchitis, and upper respiratory tract infection (URT). The ambient air quality observed in the state (lead = 0.1115 ppm/year, particulates = 10 ppm/year, N-oxides = 2.55 ppm/year, SO2 = 1 ppm/year, VOC = 82.78 ppm/year) was far worse than the World Health Organization Air Quality Standard (Lead = 1 × 10-6 ppm/year, particulates = 105 ppm/year). This clearly indicates their unsafe levels and concomitant health risks. This study (survey on diseases) showed that air pollution has direct impact on health of the people. The intensification of environmental education, especially among rural dwellers in the state is very essential to overcoming the health as well as pollution problems.
Key words: Air pollution, air quality standard, environmental education, epidemiological data, health effects, Niger-Delta, rural dwellers, World Health Organization