5,000 2,500

Topic Description

Air pollution is associated with increasing cases of many adverse health effects,
e.g. mortality, respiratory diseases and cancer. The chemical composition of
ambient air is very complex and depends on many different factors, traffic
generated air pollution being a major source in large cities. This is especially true
in the developing world, mainly due to the high proportion of old, poorly
maintained vehicles, the abundance of two stroke vehicles and the poor fuel quality
(Baumbach et al., 1995; Gwilliam 2003). All these factors contribute to one of the
major air pollutant in urban areas; carbon monoxide (CO).
CO is a poisonous, colorless, inevitable gas that has neither taste nor smell. It is
formed when carbon burns with too little air (incomplete combustion) (Smith and
Scott, 2002). Carbon monoxide (CO), also called Carbonious oxide or Carbon (II)
Oxide and is slightly lighter than air. CO is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous
gas, produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood,
charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. Topics and equipments and
machines powered by internal combustion engines such as portable generators,
cars, lawn mowers, and power washers also produce CO. It has a high affinity for
hemoglobin in blood and displaces O2 to form carboxyl hemoglobin (COHb).
This can cause dizziness, headaches and eventually death. Tobacco smoke, gas
fires, burning candles are also common sources of CO in indoor air. Internal
combustion engines are responsible for most of the CO in outdoor air (Smith and
Scott, 2002). The ambient concentration of CO is measured in parts per million
(ppm). Most of the studies on air pollution and exposure to air pollutants have been
conducted in developed countries, i.e. Western Europe and the USA (Šišvić and
Fugaš, 1987, Cernuschi et. al., 1998; and Chiara et. al., 2005). There is limited
information on exposure to air pollutants in developing tropical countries, but
some studies have been carried out in sub-Saharan Africa (Baumbach et. al., 1995;
Fanou et. al., 2005; Lindѐn e.t al., 2007).
The population in Enugu city, the economic and administrative capital of Enugu
state, has increased rapidly in the last decade (about one million inhabitants), and
in since there is no reliable public transport system, air pollution has worsened
because of an increasing number of old second-hand cars and of taxi motorbikes
(Keke-NAPEP). Petroleum products used are also of poor quality, due to the
importation of sub-standard products into the country. No data on health effect of
air pollution in Enugu city is available to the researcher, but it is anticipated that air
pollution could become a major public health problem if adequate mitigation
measures are not taken at this time. Exposure to air pollution is normally assessed
by environmental monitoring; using either fixed monitoring stations or personal air
collecting instruments.
The world is presently confronted with the twin crises of environmental
degradation and fossil fuel depletion. The uncontrolled use and overexploitation of
our natural resources have also triggered other environmental issues, which
hitherto were non-existent. Some of these environmental issues include global
warming (climate change) and air pollution. The aforementioned have been shown
to have very serious health implications. Presently, fossil fuel powered engines are
noted to account for over sixty percent of the hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide
pollution which have very serious environmental and health implications,
especially in our urban areas and their surrounding communities. It is thus very
timely and pertinent within the Enugu city due to the growing use of automobiles
and diesel powered generators within the city.
CO is one of those gases that are released from these combustion processes and its
effect on our environment range from its contribution to the photochemical smog,
ground level ozone and depletion of available oxygen within the area. Its effect on
human health when its accepted threshold is exceeded include headache, irritation,
fatigue, loss of muscular coordination, loss of memory and in severe cases, death.
The effects of CO on health are most dangerous because it is both colorless and
odorless, and as such cannot be easily detected. But since these factors; that
contribute to its formation and possible increment in its concentration within the
city is present, it is necessary that a monitoring system of stations be set up to help
in the establishment and eventual monitoring of the gas so as to ensure the safety
and wellbeing of the lives of the people in the city.
1.2.1 Aim:
The aim of this project is to monitor CO levels within Enugu city using two cities
as our basis.
1.2.2 Objectives:
i. Identify possible „hotspots‟ for generation of CO gas within the city.
ii. Determine the distribution of CO gas within high traffic and low traffic
areas of the city.
iii. Determine the daily differences in the various sample stations.
HO: There is a significant difference between the carbon monoxide levels within
high traffic areas and low traffic areas.

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