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Intra-urban air pollution in a rapidly growing Sahelian city

Journal article
Authors Jenny Lindén
Johan Boman
Björn Holmer
Sofia Thorsson
Ingegärd Eliasson
Published in Environmental International
Volume 40
Pages 51-62
ISSN 0160-4120
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Department of Chemistry
Department of Conservation
Pages 51-62
Language en
Keywords Spatial and temporal variation; Particulate matter; Carbon monoxide; Road dust; Traffic; Atmospheric stability
Subject categories Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Climate Research, Environmental chemistry


In this paper we analyze spatial and temporal variations of air pollution (PM1, PM2.5, PM10, CO, NOx, O3, Toluene and Benzene) and climate in areas of different development typology in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Analyses are based on measurements from fixed sites and car traverse measurements during field studies in 2007 and 2010. Large spatial and temporal variations were found, showing a generally poor air quality situation, with extreme levels of PM10, commonly exceeding air quality guidelines of WHO. Pollution levels increase considerably with increased atmospheric stability. Important sources were transported dust and re-suspension of dust from unpaved roads, but also traffic emissions and biomass burning. The spatial variations are examined with focus on effects for variations in potential exposure depending on for example area of residence and daily activity pattern, showing that great differences are likely to exist. Ouagadougou, like most developing countries worldwide, currently experiences an extremely rapid population growth in combination with limited financial means. This is likely to create increasingly harmful air pollution situations for the rapidly growing populations of these areas, and shows an urgent need for increased understanding of the pollution situation as well as development of mitigation strategies.

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