AN ASSESSMENT OF THE INFLUENCE OF COMBUSTION GENERATED POLLUTANTS ON THE INDOOR AIR QUALITY OF SELECTED LABORATORIES IN AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA

AN ASSESSMENT OF THE INFLUENCE OF COMBUSTION GENERATED POLLUTANTS ON THE INDOOR AIR QUALITY OF SELECTED LABORATORIES IN AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Interests in the role of air quality in health and disease date back to antiquity. Hippocrates in his treatise on “Airs, water and places” drew attention to the impact of polluted air, among other transmission media, on disease burden. For centuries, the emphasis on pollution associated air problems was mainly placed on outdoor air; concerns about indoor air quality are fairly recent in comparison (David, 2010). In the United Kingdom, indoor air quality awareness, as cited by Leslie (2000), was stimulated by the introduction of the Clean Air Act of 1956. Indoor air quality is influenced by factors such as building materials, paints, ventilation system, heating system, carpeting, fabrics, volatile cleaning fluids, solvents, cooking, use of fossil fuel, personal care products, household pets etc., all of which contribute to the mix of biological and chemical aerosols in the air Outdoor air source also contribute to the indoor air milieu (Olopade, 2010). The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) (2009), defines indoor air as air within a building occupied for at least one hour by people of varying states of health. This can include the office, classroom, transport facility, shopping centre, hospital and home. Indoor air quality can be defined as the totality of attributes of indoor air that affect a person's health and well being.

Bioaerosols could be bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, protozoa, house dust mites, scales from shed human skin, pets and human. The growth and dispersion of the microbial component is enhanced by the warm microclimate obtained in efficiently warmed

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homes, offices and schools. Air-conditioning and ventilation systems can serve as growth media for bacteria, viruses and moulds, as well as recycling module for dust, fibers, and allergens (David, 2010). Indoor air pollution refers to chemical, biological and physical contaminations of indoor air. (NHMRC, 2009). It may result in adverse health effect. In developing countries like Nigeria, the main source of indoor air pollution is biomass (e.g wood, agricultural products) which contains suspended particulate matter like nitrogen oxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) formaldehyde and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). However in industrialized countries, in addition to NO2, CO and formaldehyde, radon, asbestos, mercury, human-made mineral fibers, volatile organic compounds, allergens, tobacco smoke, bacteria and viruses are the main contributors to indoor air pollution. (David, 2010).

In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors (Hodgson, et al. 1986). Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later. Immediate effects may show up after a single exposure or repeated exposures. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person's exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Symptoms of some diseases, including asthma,

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hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever, may also show up soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants. The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air pollutants depends on several factors. Age and preexisting medical conditions are two important influences. In other cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological pollutants after repeated exposures, and it appears that some people can become sensitized to chemical pollutants as well. The World Health Organization estimates that indoor air pollution is responsible for roughly 1.6 million deaths each year, from acute lower respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and other diseases. Indoor pollution from biomass contributes to about 2.6 percent of the global burden of disease, actually kills more people every year than HIV and maybe even malaria, and yet nobody knows about it. Thus, “if we can accomplish bringing sensitive or pay attention to this problem, and use it to influence policy and help people who are poor and would otherwise have no opportunity to have more efficient stoves, it will be very delighteful.” (Olopade, 2009).

The first-ever country-by-country estimates of the burden of disease due to indoor air pollution highlight the heavy toll solid fuel use takes on the health and well-being of people around the world. The countries most affected are Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda. In 11 countries -- Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh,

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Burkina Faso, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and the United Republic of Tanzania -- indoor air pollution is to blame for a total of 1.2 million deaths a year. Globally, reliance on solid fuels is one of the 10 most important threats to public health (Gold, 1992). In an academic environment, laboratories happen to be a major place where combustion activities are mostly carried out usually in carrying out experiments. According to the Merriam-Webster, a laboratory was defined as „a room or building equipped for scientific research, or teaching, or for the manufacture of drugs and chemicals‟. From the definition it can be established that combustion is one of the basic process in a laboratory. Thus the question now is: „how save is the indoor air quality of such laboratories owing to the activities carried out in them?

1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

Exposure to indoor air pollution from solid fuels has been linked to many diseases, the health threat posed by this fuel sources and biomass is generated mostly when they are subjected to combustion. (Olopade, 2009). Combustion activities in the laboratory produce gases such as; CO, CO2 NO2, and NO, which are poisonous to human health. The maximum permissible concentration levels of the gases are stated in ASHRAE Standard 62 and there are no records of existing empirical studies on the actual concentration levels in the laboratories under study. The study therefore, seeks to establish the presence and concentration levels of the pollutants in the laboratories due to combustion activities. In line with this, the following research questions are formulated.

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i) What is the HVAC status of the laboratories?

ii) Do combustion pollutants exist in the indoor air during combustion in the laboratories and in what quantity?

iii) Do the combustion pollutant exist in quantities that exceed limits prescribed by Standards (ASHRAE and NAAQS), for a healthy working Indoor Air Quality?

iv) The influence of the existence of combustion pollutants on the indoor air quality?

In answering these questions, some, of the issues relating the influence of combustion generated pollutant on the indoor air quality of laboratories will be better understood.

1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research will be of importance to both the staff and students prone to the use of laboratory because on completion, awareness will be created on the resultant effects of the combustion activities within the laboratories on the indoor air quality. Thus, the content of this research work also stands to be beneficial to government agencies like; Control of Substance Hazardous To Health Regulations (COSHH), World Health Organization (WHO) and other health organization in their ongoing campaign to create awareness on the dangerous effects of poor indoor air quality (Olopade, 2010).

In like manner, it will draw the attention of the school authority with factual data on the need for a healthier working environment for both staff and student.The research will also help building designers to adhere to the criteria for Heating Ventilation and Air Condition (HVAC) system in the design of buildings especially in the design of

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laboratories and also emphasis the need for adequate maintenance of the HVAC system in buildings.

1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES

1.4.1 Aim

The aim of this research is to assess the influence of combustion generated air pollutants on the indoor air quality of laboratories

1.4.2 Objectives

The objectives are;

i. To study the concept and criteria for ventilations of buildings especially laboratories

ii. Identify the HVAC system requirement for laboratories.

iii. Estimate the amount of combustion generated air pollutants in the selected laboratories

iv. To assess the impact of the pollutants on the indoor air quality

v. To recommend measures for improving the indoor air quality in the laboratories where such pollutants are present.

1.5 METHODOLOGY

In order to achieve the objective of the research work, the following research method will be adopted:

a) Field Survey: a field survey of the laboratories guided by the use of a checklist to establish if the laboratory HVAC provisions tallies with the requirement for

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adequate ventilation for a workplace in accordance with the provisions of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) policy of 2002

b) Research Instrument: a well structured questionnaire will be employed and administered to students and staff to ascertain their perception of the indoor air quality in the laboratories. The sampling technique to be adopted in the distribution of the question will be a random sampling technique giving both staff and student using the laboratories equal opportunity to express their perceptions

c) Experimentation: the use of an air combustion pollutants detector will be employed to establish the presence of such pollutants as well as the percentage existence within the interior.

The combustion pollutants of interest are carbon monoxide CO, nitrogen dioxide NO2, Sulphur dioxide SO2, nitric oxide NO, formaldehyde HCHO and carbon dioxide CO2 . The pollutants will be measured with the aid of IMR 1400 gas analyzer. The IMR 1400C gas analyzer will be used to measure the pollutant, it is a high quality combustion gas analyzer using the latest sensor technology; is easy to use and will measure all the important pollutants of interest in this research work.

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1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION

1.6.1 Scope

The scope of this research work is confined to the indoor air quality and not the entire indoor environmental quality. Also the research focuses on just the air pollutants generated from combustion activities and not to the entire indoor pollutants. The research also studies only the effects of the combustion pollutants on the indoor air quality of only some selected wet laboratories (laboratories in the Faculty of Sciences only). Laboratories in other faculties are not in the study.

1.6.2 Limitation

The experimental value of this research is limited to the accuracy of the IMR 1400C gas analyzer adopted for the measurement of the combustion generated pollutants in the laboratories. Also, the response of the targeted population will be based on their perceptions on how the presence of the combustion pollutants appeals to their sense(s).





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