A pilot study of gaseous pollutants' measurement (NO2, SO2, NH3, HNO3 and O3) in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire: contribution to an overview of gaseous pollution in African cities
Abstract. This work is part of the DACCIWA FP7 project (Dynamics-Aerosol-Chemistry-Cloud Interactions in West Africa) in the framework of the Work Package 2
Air Pollution and Health. This study aims to characterize urban air pollution levels through the measurement of NO2, SO2, NH3, HNO3 and O3 in Abidjan, the economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire. Measurements of inorganic gaseous pollutants, i.e. NO2, SO2, NH3, HNO3 and O3 were performed in Abidjan during an intensive campaign within the dry season (15 December 2015 to 16 February 2016), using INDAAF (International Network to study Deposition and Atmospheric chemistry in AFrica) passive samplers exposed in duplicate for 2-week periods. Twenty-one sites were selected in the district of Abidjan to be representative of various anthropogenic and natural sources of air pollution in the city. Results from this intensive campaign show that gas concentrations are strongly linked to surrounding pollution sources and show a high spatial variability. Also, NH3, NO2 and O3 gases were present at relatively higher concentrations at all the sites. NH3 average concentrations varied between 9.1 ± 1.7 ppb at a suburban site and 102.1 ± 9.1 ppb at a domestic fires site. NO2 mean concentration varied from 2.7 ± 0.1 ppb at a suburban site to 25.0 ± 1.7 ppb at an industrial site. Moreover, we measured the highest O3 concentration at the two coastal sites of Gonzagueville and Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport located in the southeast of the city, with average concentrations of 19.1 ± 1.7 and 18.8 ± 3.0 ppb, respectively. The SO2 average concentration never exceeded 7.2 ± 1.2 ppb over all the sites, with 71.5 % of the sampling sites showing concentrations ranging between 0.4 and 1.9 ppb. The HNO3 average concentration ranged between 0.2 and 1.4 ppb. All these results were combined with meteorological parameters to provide the first mapping of gaseous pollutants on the scale of the district of Abidjan using geostatistical analysis (ArcGIS software). Spatial distribution results emphasize the importance of the domestic fires source and the significant impact of the traffic emissions on the scale of the city. In addition, in this work we propose a first overview of gaseous SO2 and NO2 concentrations on the scale of several African cities by comparing literature to our values. The daily SO2 standard of World Health Organization (WHO) is exceeded in most of the cities reported in the overview, with concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 3662 µg m−3. Annual NO2 concentrations ranged from 2 to 175 µg m−3, which are lower than the WHO threshold. As a conclusion, this study constitutes an original database to characterize urban air pollution and a first attempt towards presenting a spatial distribution of the pollution levels at the scale of the metropolis of Abidjan. This work should draw the attention of the African public authorities to the necessity of building an air quality monitoring network in order to (1) to define national standards and to better control the pollutants emissions and (2) to investigate the impact on the health of the growing population in developing African countries.