ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATION OF WOODEN CASKET PRODUCTION ON AMBIENT AIR QUALITY IN PART OF OWERRI MUNICIPAL, SOUTH EASTERN NIGERIA
The study assessed the effect of wooden casket production on air quality at old market road in Owerri South Eastern Nigeria. The study was carried out in October, 2019, during morning, afternoon and evening periods of the day respectively. Priority air quality parameters sampled included: SO2, PM10, CO, NO2, TVOC, H2S, HCN and Cl2 alongside climatic variables at graded distances. Outdoor air quality was measured by digital air monitors hourly. Data collected were analyzed using ANOVA, SPSS v.20 software, and mean values separated using Duncan at p<0.05 significant level. Results were compared to Environmental standards, Air Quality Index (AQI) and Pollutant Standard Index (PSI). Ambient air qualities were significantly different (p<0.05) at the various distances except for PM10, SO2, CO, NO2, VOC, H2S, HCN and Cl2 which were all above the standards for clean air, describing the area as non-attainment spot. Temperature, relative humidity and wind speed were recorded in the mean values of 31.6oC, 91.6%, and 0.2m/s respectively. The result ranged in order of abundance: afternoon (A)>evening (E)>morning (M) respectively. Air quality rating ranged between poor - D (PM10) to very poor - E (CO, NO2, SO2), implying the poor stage of atmospheric air in the study area. The mean results of the PSI showed that PM10 ranged from 133.96±0.75 - 138.5±1.25µg/m3, CO ranged from 183.25±1.2 - 297.59±6.47ppm while VOC ranged from 124.08±0.27-127.36±0.42ppm that fall within unhealthy and very unhealthy respectively. The results suggest that relocation of the industry and awareness creation on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) by casket workers to avert occupational health hazards at work.
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