Its no news that soot has been disturbing port harcourt, so many people have been complaining and its everywhere. There has been rumours that a certain Chinese company is responsible for it, other say its caused by Nigeria’s Airforce destruction of illegal refineries and oil Badges in Rivers state
But what is soot?
Soot is a black powdery or flaky substance consisting largely of amorphous carbon, produced by the incomplete burning of organic matter. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in soot are known mutagens (sunstance that causes Genetic mutation) and are classified as a “known human carcinogen” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Soot causes Environmental and Health problem
Compounds from soot – sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides – combine with moisture to form acid rain, which worsens water quality, damages soil and crops, and changes nutrient balances in various ecosystems.
Breathing the tiny particles can cause coronary heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, and many other respiratory illnesses.
A study from America shows that many premature deaths are directly related to soot in the environment. Particle exposure leads to around 20,000 premature deaths in America each year. Many of these deaths were caused by soot-related diseases. Data also show that soot annually causes almost 300,000 asthma attacks and 2 million lost workdays due to respiratory problems.
Soot is a problem for public health, As much as using a face mask can help reduce the intake of soot, we need to make sure the Government tackles the situation and bring an end to this life threatening situation.