Characterization and Quantification of Vehicular Emissions in Abuja Municipality – Implications for Public Health

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Nnenna M Ezeigwe
Echendu D Adinma
Efegbidiki L Okobia
Stephan Schwander


Air Pollution, Vehicular Emissions, Public Health, Abuja Municipality


Background: Air pollution from vehicular emissions and other sources accounts for over seven million global deaths annually and contributes significantly to environmental degradation, including climate change. Vehicular emission is not prioritized for control in Nigeria, thus undermining public health and the Sustainable Development Goals 3, 11 and 13. This study aims to characterize vehicular emissions in Abuja municipality and quantify exhaust air pollutants of commonly used vehicles.

Methodology: Cross-sectional exhaust emissions study of vehicles in Abuja Municipal Area Council. Information on the type and age, fuel type, purchase and use category of 543 vehicles on routine Annual Road Worthiness Test at the Computerized Test Center, Abuja. Exhaust levels of CO, CO2 HCHO and PM10 were measured using hand-held devices. IBM SPSS version (2019) statistical software.

Results: The Toyota brand comprised 52.5% of the vehicles. Over 80% were older than 10 years; 85.5% were preowned and 87.3% were used for private purposes. PMS was the dominant fuel used (91.1%). Except for PM10, older vehicles emitted higher levels of the measured pollutants than newer ones. The differences were significant for CO and HCHO. Diesel-fueled and commercial vehicles also emitted higher levels of CO, HCHO and PM10 compared to PMS-fueled and private vehicles respectively.

Conclusions: Strong regulatory policies that discourage over-aged vehicles; speedy adoption of the ECOWAS guidelines on cleaner fuels and emission limits; and coordinated implementation of effective Inspection & Monitoring programmes by relevant government agencies are required to safeguard public health and the environment. We also recommend the introduction of vehicles powered by alternative energy, the use of bicycles, designation of one-way traffic and pedestrian zones.

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