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IMPACT OF VEHICULAR EMISSION ON AIR QUALITY ALONG HIGHWAYS

 

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IMPACT OF VEHICULAR EMISSION ON AIR QUALITY ALONG HIGHWAYS

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1 Background of the study

Vehicular emission remains a threat to environmental health problem which is expected to increase

reasonably as vehicle ownership increases in the world. Over 600 million people globally are exposed to hazardous level of traffic – generated pollutants UN, (1998). Human exposure to these air pollutants due to traffic is believed to have constituted severe health problems especially in urban areas where pollution levels are on the increase.

Pollution due to traffic constitute up to 90 – 95% of the ambient CO levels, 80 – 90% of NOx, hydrocarbon and particulate matter in the world, posing a serious threat to human health Savile, (1993). Research conducted a decade and half ago has shown that transportation sources in the USA were responsible for 77% of CO levels, 80 -90% of NOx, 36% of volatile organic compounds and 22% of particulate matter USEPA, (1993). Similarly, in UK the average concentration of NO2 was found to increase by 35% from 1986 to 1991 due to increase in vehicular emission CEC, (1992). On the global sense, Seneca and Tausig, (1994), Faucet and Sevingny (1998) have all arrived at the same conclusion that transportation is the major culprit of air pollution accounting for over 80% of total air pollutants. This is a clear indication that vehicle emissions are a major source of ambient air pollution and must be controlled if acceptable air quality is to be assured. In addition, there are numerous health problems associated with high concentration of these pollutants. For example NO2 is responsible for immune system impairment, exacerbation of asthma and chronic respiratory diseases: reduced lung function and cardiovascular disease Schwela, (2000). Particulates are dangerous and are linked as facilitators in the development of lung cancer and increase rate of mortality Schwela, (2000).

An epidemiological study in US has shown that acute exposure to vehicle emissions over ten years period reduces lung function among tunnel officers Evans, (1998). A similar study confirms that there is a prevalence of chronic bronchitis and asthma in street cleaners exposed to vehicle pollutants in concentrations higher than WHO recommended guidelines, thus leading to significant increase in respiratory problems Rachou, (1995). Having viewed these consequences, the need to embark on research of this kind becomes obvious. This research work is intended to investigate the level of vehicular emission and air quality standard in a growing city Calabar, Nigeria. The knowledge from this investigation will assist authority in planning adequate pollution control measures. It is equally hoped that the study will generate interest on further research on the impact of vehicle emission on air quality and health implications in Calabar in particular and Nigeria in general for effective air quality control and management.

 

1.2           Statement of the problem

There may have been previous researches in this subject. This work gives further explanations and analysis in impact of vehicular emission on air quality along highways

 

a.                Objectives of the study

1.    To understand the impact of vehicular emission on air quality along highways

2.    To understand the relationship between vehicular emission and air quality along highways

 

 

b.                Research questions

1.    What is the impact of vehicular emission on air quality along highways

2.    What is the relationship between vehicular emission and air quality along highways

 

1.5           Research hypothesis

H0: There is no relationship between vehicular emission and air quality along highways

H1: There is a relationship between vehicular emission and air quality along highways

 

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