Amid our busy lives, air pollution is one of the greatest casualties of our time and has been increasing worldwide since 1990. Today, the history of air pollution in sawmills, which accounts for 93.32% of the total number of wood processing industries in Nigeria, can seem daunting, overwhelming and have placed the nation at a perilous crossroad. For emerging countries such as Nigeria with a population projected to hit 400 million by 2050, more than 40,000 deaths per year would be due to air pollution. In 2015, polluted air caused 6.4 million deaths worldwide, including 4.2 million deaths. In the same year, tobacco caused 7 million deaths, 1.2 million AIDS, 1.1 million cases of tuberculosis and 0.7 million of malaria, 19% of all cardiovascular deaths, 24% of all deaths due to ischaemic heart disease. 21% of stroke deaths, and 23% of lung cancer deaths. Non-communicable diseases account for 70% of deaths attributable to air pollution and is a major cause of unexplained diseases. In addition, air pollution appears to be important but is not yet a determining factor in the risk of neurodegenerative disorders in children and neurodegenerative diseases in adults. This study assesses ambient air quality at major sawmill sites in Ilorin Metropolis, Kwara State, Nigeria. The air pollution measurements were carried out using direct reading, automatic in situ gas monitors; Hand held mobile multi-gas monitor with model AS8900 (Combustible (LEL), and Oxygen (O2)), BLATN with model BR â€“ Smart Series air quality monitor (PM10, Formaldehyde) and air quality multimeter with model B SIDE EET100 (Dust (PM2.5), VOC, Temperature and Relative Humidity). The results showed the mean concentrations of CO, O2 and other assessed parameters such as Formaldehyde (HcHo) etc., are generally lower and within acceptable range of National and International regulatory standards for air quality indices. There are however, few exceptions such as mean concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PM2.5, PM10 and Combustible (LEL) respectively, high compared to National and International standards. This high value was attributed to the amount of pollutant present in the sawmills air because of input of influents from the sawmill activities. Hence, air pollution in Ilorin metropolis were however, found to be polluted. Given the high cost of additional measures to reduce air pollution and the many new findings suggesting that health effects may be observed at lower concentrations, the effects of air pollution on health should have much scientific and regulatory interest in the coming years. In the absence of aggressive control, ambient air pollution is expected to cause between 6 and 9 million deaths per year by 2060.
Keywords: Non-communicable diseases, Quantiï¬ed risk factor, Neurodevelopmental disorders, Neurodegenerative diseases, Sawmills.