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International Journal of Recent Trends in Science and Technology, ISSN: 2277 2812 E-ISSN: 2249-8109

 

Volume 2, Issue 2, 2012 pp 09-24

 

Date of Publish: 03 February 2012

 

Research Article

 

Distribution of Ambient Suspended Particulates and Volatile Organic Carbon in a Fast Developing Metropolis in the Niger Delta, Nigeria

Emerhi, E.A., Ideriah, T.J.K. and Trinya, W.

Department of Forestry and Wildlife, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria. [email protected]

Institute of Pollution Studies, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria.  [email protected]

Department of Forestry and Environment, Rivers State University of Science and Tech., Port Harcourt Rivers State, Nigeria.

Academic Editor:  Dr. Pawar D.D.

Abstract

The concentrations of various sizes of suspended particulates and volatile organic carbons along selected roadsides and control sites in the fast developing city of Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta were determined at 0m and 50m from roads during the dry and rainy seasons. The parameters were determined using portable hand held air monitors which include an Industrial Scientific Corporation ITX Multi Gas Monitor and Aerosol Mass Monitor by Met One Instrument INC. The results showed highest concentrations of PM1 (0.004mg/m3), PM2.5 (0.19 mg/m3), PM7 (0.715 mg/m3), PM10 (0.829 mg/m3), TSP (0.946 mg/m3) and VOC (4.2ppm) in the dry season and PM1 (0.004mg/m3), PM2.5 (0.28 mg/m3), PM7 (0.226 mg/m3), PM10 (0.109 mg/m3), TSP (0.129 mg/m3) and VOC (1.2ppm) in the rainy season. The differences between the dry and rainy season values were significant at P≥0.05. The concentrations of the pollutants measured at the high density areas were generally higher than the concentrations measured at low density areas; however PM1, PM2.5, PM10 and VOC showed significant differences with traffic density at P≥0.05. There was no significant difference between the mean concentrations measured at 0m and 50m. The results showed very strong relationship between PM10 and TSP in both season, PM7 and TSP in the dry season as well as PM1 with PM2.5 and PM7 in the rainy season implying similarity in sources of the particulates. The pollutants in the study area do not originate from the same sources as the correlations between PM2.5 and other fractions as well as between the suspended particulates and VOC were very low with decreasing mean r = 0.2174PM1, 0.2052 PM2.5, 0.0591 PM7, 0.0386 PM10 and 0.0209 TSP. The levels of VOC call for serious environmental concern as their concentrations at the high density stations exceeded permissible limit recommended by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency of Nigeria and United States. The levels of the pollutants were influenced by traffic density, seasonal variations and distances from major roads, therefore farming activities and consumption of exposed foodstuffs should be discouraged in the study areas.

 

 

 

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