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Title: Indoor and outdoor dust in Damaturu Nigeria : composition, exposure and risk to human health
Author: Mohammed, Fatima Sule
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2013
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Harmattan and Dust (sand) storms together with anthropogenic activities including the use of firewood and kerosene as fuel for cooking, and diesel/petrol generators for electricity generation are potential sources of particulate and gaseous pollutants in homes in Damaturu town, Nigeria. Other activities like the burning of locally produced incense and mosquito coils as well as the use of aerosol sprays are further possible sources of indoor pollution, which may result in exposure of people to a range of pollutants through inhalation, by ingestion of settled dusts as well as dermal contact. Local people associate occurrence of dust events with adverse health effects and hence there is a need for an understanding of the composition of the settled and airborne dusts in order to assess the possible associated health risks. The first phase of the study involved selection and development of methods of dust sampling and analysis. For validation of the methods employed and to establish a broad understanding of the characteristics of the settled dusts, an initial survey study was conducted involving the application of thermal desorption/gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (TD/GC/MS) analysis for organic compound analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) for analysis of metals, and microbiological analysis. Airborne samples were also collected using sorbent tubes to determine organic compounds in air during activities such as cooking with kerosene, gas, and firewood as well as during electricity generation with fossil fuels. Carbon monoxide (CO) and ultrafine particles (UFPs) monitored simultaneously during some of the household activities. The study involved a novel method of extracting organic chemical emissions from dust by heating of the dusts directly in a micro chamber (μ-CTETM) and collection of emissions on sampling tubes. The method provided a relatively quick way of collecting chemical emissions from dusts that are readily available for release. The sampled tubes were analysed by TD/GC/MS. The conventional solvent extraction of the dusts was also carried out and the extracts were analysed by liquid injection-GC/MS and results of the two methods compared. The study determined a number of constituents (metals, SVOCs, phthalates and physical properties) of dusts collected from households in Damaturu during different weather events and from different indoor/outdoor locations; and compared with some UK samples. The samples investigated include dusts deposited; during two notable dusty-weather events (Harmattan and Storm) as well as when there was no notable dust event; during human activities; and dusts from different types of buildings (modern and traditional homes) as well as inside and outside homes. A standard reference material for organic chemicals (SRM 2585) was also analysed. The physical characterization of the settled house dust samples analysed revealed the various shapes and sizes, and elemental composition of the constituents, which included respirable particles. The microbial analysis also indicated the presence of the spores of a host of fungi and bacterial species; and the possible contributions of household activities to the increased production of pollutants (UFP and CO) ascertained. The μ-CTE extraction of the house dusts by heating with TD/GC/MS analysis of the emissions as well as the solvent extraction-GC/MS revealed the presence of many organic chemical compounds with different analytical retention times and varying concentrations in the dust samples. Chemicals of interest quantified: benzene, hexanal, nonanal, diethyl phthalate (DEP), diisobutylphthalate (DIBP), dibutylphthalate (DBP), and diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP). A host of other chemicals commonly present in the analysed samples identified using the NIST library associated with the MS system software. These chemicals included naphthalene and C10-C16 aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, which would need confirmation by running the pure compound samples. There was an observed higher concentration of the chemicals in the solvent extracts than the μ-CTE extracted dust. The higher concentration of the chemicals in the solvent extracts expected due to the aggressive removal of the chemicals by the organic solvent whereas in the case of thermal extraction only the readily available chemicals (loosely bound to the matrix) released by increases in temperature were removed. Generally, the concentrations of the chemicals found were higher in the indoor than in the outdoor dust samples. In the analysis of the dusts collected during weather events; higher chemical concentrations observed in the samples collected during Harmattan period than the other periods. The Harmattan dust period may pose increased exposures to dust and possible health risks. More exposure is expected to occur in the traditional homes compared with the modern homes due to the higher concentrations of the chemicals in both the indoors and the outdoors and this may be especially important to women and children who spend most of their times at home. Metal analysis involved microwave-assisted digestion of the dust samples followed by ICP-MS analysis. The total quant method of metal analysis for a general profiling indicated the presence of more than 50 elemental contaminants in house dust. The results of the quantitative analysis for six target metals: Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn showed their presence in all indoor and the outdoor dust samples. The mean concentrations showed that the metals were in higher concentrations in the indoor dusts than in the outdoor dusts. The quantitative analysis carried out indicated higher metal contents in the storm dusts than the dusts during the other periods. Results of the dusts collected from modern and traditional homes indicated the presence of the metals in higher concentrations in the dusts from traditional homes than the dusts from the modern homes. The estimated mean concentrations of the metals and phthalates inadvertently ingested as a constituent of dust indicated that some of the pollutants could exceed the tolerable daily intake (TDI) due to high exposures to dust expected to be the case in Damaturu. The results of the investigation of the dust composition, combined with information on exposure to dust and pollutants, show that dusts are a risk to the health of people in the Damataru community. Recommendations are made for more studies to provide a better understanding of dust ingestion and exposure to some phthalates and heavy metals in particular and the possible health risks. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first ever research study of airborne and settled dusts undertaken in North-Eastern Nigeria.
Supervisor: Crump, Derrick Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Dust Storm ; Harmattan ; Harmattan Dust ; Harmattan Haze ; Microbial Spores ; Particulate Matter (PM) ; Toxic Metals ; Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)