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KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF THE EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION ON THE HEALTH OF MOTORCYCLE RIDERS

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KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS OF THE EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION ON THE HEALTH OF MOTORCYCLE RIDERS

 

ABSTRACT

This study examined the knowledge and awareness of effect of air pollution on the health of motorcycle riders in coker/aguda local council development area. The sample consisted of 110 motorcycle riders in Coker/Aguda Local Council Development Area of Lagos State. Variables studied are knowledge and awareness of the effect of air pollution on health. Knowledge and awareness of effect of air pollution on their health were assessed through a 20 item self developed questionnaire. Data was analyzed using simple percentage. Results from the findings show that the motorcycle riders in Coker/Aguda Local Council Development Area are knowledgeable and aware of the effect of air pollution on their health. The study recommended that seminar should be organized periodically to educate motorcycle riders inensuring a conducive and enabling environment for good living, law enforcement agency should encourage motorcycle riders to go for ministry of transportation test to avoid air pollution. State government should recommend nose bluff to the motorcycle riders in prevention of respiratory disorders, more research should be carried out in the area of effect of air pollution on health, the use of eye goggle should also be recommended in the prevention of itching and discomfort of the eye.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The land can be cleaned up before we use it, and purify water before we drink it, but, except in air-conditioned rooms, we must breathe air as it comes to us. Automobiles, factories, heating furnaces, power plants, trash incinerators, each add to the problem, so control is difficult. (Microsoft Encarta 2009). Air pollution is a major environmental problem throughout the world. Most air pollution problems thus result from man’s pattern of energy use and production.

Air quality is affected by economic activities which introduce pollutants into the atmosphere that pose threats to human health and other life forms on earth. It furthermore has the potential to change the climate with unpredictable, but potentially severe consequences on a local and global scale. Because large bodies of air cannot be contained, atmospheric pollution can only be controlled at its source.At present there is no comprehensive information on air quality or on the levels of emissions entering the atmosphere from different sources.

However, air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. By reducing air pollution levels, we can help countries reduce the global burden of disease from respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer. The lower the levels of air pollution in a city, the better respiratory (both long- and short-term), and cardiovascular health of the population will be.

Apollutant is the wrong stuff in the wrong place at the wrong time, and especially in developed nations such as ours, avoiding pollution is not necessarily easy. The problem is made worse by a loss of ownership of the problem; by reality gaps between government agencies which must regulate and monitor on the broader level of pollutant averages over time and local citizens that are justifiably upset over local episodes; and by entrenchment in the comfort of our own consumptive lifestyles and by limited alternatives.

The auto industry and its support enterprises continue to flourish, while mass transit struggles to survive. Fossil fuel-based energies overshadow wind, solar and other sources of energy. Cleaner fuels often remain a novelty. Land use decisions, or the lack of them, make it difficult for many to walk or bike to work. Numerous small mechanical devices replace muscle power. Disposable items save us even more time and work. Food is transported far from where it is grown, to a region which could supply its own food needs. All of these factors lead to increased product and energy consumption and have a vast impact on air quality.

Environmental pollution is the unfavourable alteration of the environment due to the addition of impurities by man to constitute danger to either his/her health (ldodo-Umeh, 2010). One of the major causes of environmental pollution is air pollution. Air pollution is the additional of air borne substances such as dust, smoke, soot and sulphurdioxide found in the air that alter the composition of the atmosphere causing harm to human. Carbon monoxide is the major pollutant produced from the exhaust of automobile. Nitrogen-monoxide and Nitrogen dioxide are other gases produced from the motorcycle (ldodo-Umeh, 2010).

Although transportation is a vital part of the economy and is essential for everyday activities, it is also a significant source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere and help to keep the planet hospitable to life by trapping some of the sun’s natural heat. Without this “greenhouse effect,” the earth’s average surface temperature would be about 33 degrees Celsius cooler than it is currently.  The most important naturally occurring GHGs associated with this phenomenon are water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).

Human activities release GHG emissions and contribute to increasing concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere. CO2 is the predominant GHG emitted by human sources. Like most GHGs, CO2 is produced both by natural and human activities and can be removed from the atmosphere through natural processes.  However, increased production of CO2 by human sources has caused total GHG emissions exceed natural absorption rates, resulting in increased atmospheric concentrations. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have increased by nearly 30 percent, CH4 concentrations have more than doubled, and N2O concentrations have risen by approximately 15 percent (Browning,2003).

Air pollution can affect our health in many ways with both short-term and long-term effects. Different groups of individuals are affected by air pollution in different ways. Some individuals are much more sensitive to pollutants than are others. Young children and elderly people often suffer more from the effects of air pollution. People with health problems such as asthma, heart and lung disease may also suffer more when the air is polluted. The extent to which an individual is harmed by air pollution usually depends on the total exposure to the damaging chemicals, i.e., the duration of exposure and the concentration of the chemicals must be taken into account. Examples of short-term effects include irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Other symptoms can include headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions. Short-term air pollution can aggravate the medical conditions of individuals with asthma and emphysema. Long-term health effects can include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys. Continual exposure to air pollution affects the lungs of growing children and may aggravate or complicate medical conditions in the elderly.

Coker/AgudaLlocal council development area, under Surulere Local Government is a very busy locality. It has three communities; Coker, Aguda and Orile. The three communities are made up of seven wards. Average men and youth in Coker/Aguda LCDA engaged in road transportation as their major occupation for the purpose of meeting their needs. Research into the health effects of air pollution is ongoing. Medical conditions arising from air pollution can be very expensive. Healthcare costs, lost productivity in the workplace, and human welfare impacts cost billions of dollars each year. Mankind has always believed in a better place where life is free of stress and toil where health and happiness abound. (Haastrup and Adeogun, 2005).The environment is at the top of the agenda for governments, civil society and citizens, and is likely to remain so for some time. Its importance in business and purchase decision-making, as well as in legislation,

standards and regulations is increasing all the time. As a result, no business can afford to take the environment for granted. Whatever your industry or area of activity, you need to minimize your impact on the environment and protect it as much as possible

Statement of the Problem

Coker/Aguda local council development area is a very busy area in Surulere Local Government Area and the major occupational practice among men and youth is Okada ridding. The emission discharged from the exhausts and other air pollutants expose them and other citizens to environmental health conditions such as lung cancer, asthma, irritation of the eyes and even cataract of the eyes. These conditions are worsened with the use of poor quality engine oil which results to the release of emission of poor gases in the air. Also mixed fuel gasoline is another factor that emits carbon dioxide (C02) into the air causing air pollution in the environment .Together; these pollutants seriously affect human health and the environment if precautions are not taken.  These Okada riders may or may not be ignorant of the consequences of their action because of their determination to survive and make out a living. It is therefore important to examine the knowledge and awareness level of these Okada riders on the effects of air pollution on the health of motorcycle riders in Coker/Aguda Local Council Development Area.

c.Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the knowledge and awareness of the effects of air pollution on the health of motorcycle riders in

Coker/Aguda Local Council Development Area.

Research Questions

1)     Will motorcycle riders in Coker/Aguda Local Council Development Area be knowledgeable on the effects of air pollution on their health?

2)    Will motorcycle riders in Coker/Aguda Local Council Development Area be aware of the effect of air pollution on their health?

3)    Will age influence the knowledge of the effects of air pollution on the health of motorcycle riders in Coker/Aguda LCDA?

Research Hypotheses

1)    Motorcycle riders in Coker Aguda Local Council Development Area will not be significantly knowledgeable about the effect of air pollution on their health.

2)    Motorcycle riders in Coker Aguda Local Council Development Area will not be significantly aware of the effect of air pollution on their health.

3)    Age will not significantly influence the knowledge of the effects of air pollution on the health of Okada riders in Coker/Aguda LCDA

Delimitation of Study

This study is delimited to the following

1)Coker/Aguda Local Council Development Area.

2)Coker and Aguda communities of the LCDA.

3)Motorcycle riders in five major junctions of Coker/Aguda LCDA.

a)      Adetola Junction

b)      Casette Junction

c)      Pako Junction

d)     Coker Bridge Junction

e)      Sanya Express Junction

4)A self-designed questionnaire.

g.Limitation of Study

The result of this study could be limited by the fact that respondents are uncooperative in their attitude towards filling out of the questionnaire. Also their responses formed the data base of this study.

Significance of Study

The results of this study may be of significant to the community because may be the knowledge and awareness of the effect of air pollution on the health of the motorcycle riders in Coker Aguda Local Council Development Area are discussed and through this more awareness on the health implication is created. Also, it will impact on health awareness of the larger community, when the health of the motorcycle riders are improved, the health of the community will also improve.

Operational Definition of Terms

Air pollution:                    Air contamination by harmful substances.

Awareness:                       Consciousness through revelation.

Knowledge:                     Understanding gained through experience or study.

    Motorcycle rider:          Somebody who uses two wheeler road vehicle for transporting one or  two riders as a means of livelihood

 

Coker/Aguda LCDA:   Coker/Aguda local council development area is under Surulere  Local Government of Lagos State. It has three communities; Coker, Aguda and Orile. The three communities are made up of seven wards. Average men and youth in Coker/Aguda LCDA engage in road transportation as their major occupation for the purpose of meeting their needs.

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