In this article, a link is being established between the low life expectancy in Nigeria and the ubiquitous suspended particulate matter as the most common form of air pollutants in Nigeria. Consequently, the baseline, spatial and temporal distributions of total suspended particulate (TSP) airborne particles in Isoko land with numerous oil wells and flow stations have been quantified. Airborne particulate matter quantification was accomplished by using a Microdust Pro real time dust monitor (Casella CEL 176000A). Sampling was done for a year in the seventeen sampling sites created in the study area. The annual baseline concentration ranges of the TSP were 16 to 1035 µg/m3. There was uniformity in the distribution of airborne particles (TSP) at the created sampling sites (ANOVA, P=0.7206, F=0.7676, df 16). Temporal variation in the measured data were calculated to be statistically significant (ANOVA, P=2.182E-37, F=31.58, df 11), with higher TSP values reported in the dry season months (Dec 2011 to April 2012). For some of the sampling sites, the measured particles were within the Federal Ministry of Environment (FMNEV) (2000) and World Health Organization (WHO) statutory limits of 250 µg/m3 and 150 to 230 µg/m3,respectively. At some of the sites the above limits were clearly violated, suggestive of health and environmental concerns. The sources identified to contribute the highest values are farming, cooking with charcoal and firewood (fossil fuel combustion), microbiological sources, temperature and precipitation, the condition of the roads and vehicular traffic (anthropogenic particles).
Key words: Total suspended particulate matter, baseline, spatial and temporal variation, Isoko land.
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