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09.11.2005 General News

Air quality in Accra quite okay - EPA

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Accra, Nov. 9, GNA - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday announced that the air quality along some major roads and commercial areas have high levels of dust that was likely to affect human health.

However, the overall air quality in Accra analysed by the EPA, in collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) revealed that Accra's ambient air quality was within the permissible standards set by USEPA and the World Health Organisation, making the EPA standards stricter than standards set by the two organisations.

The analyses carried out between March and September, this year at some designated site including Dansoman and Asylum Down representing residential sites, Odorkor representing a commercial site, South Industrial Area representing the industrial site and two road sides consisting of Kaneshie First Light and Shangrila would not be taken as the final result of Accra's air quality since the analyses were done during the rainy season.

Mrs Esi Nana Nerquaye-Tetteh, Air Quality Control Expert of the EPA, who presented the project findings, said the major sources of air pollution found in Accra during the period under review included road dust, emissions from vehicles, industrial processes and open burning. She said in the case of the air quality for the residential areas, the average recording were below the EPA standard which is stricter than the USEPA and WHO standards. The average for the commercial site was bad according to the EPA standard yet within the permissible level of WHO standards.

Mrs Nerquaaye-Tetteh said the average roadsides recordings were also bad but lead values were not detected because Ghana had phased out lead from its fuel.

Dr Edith Clarke, Programme Manager, Occupational and Environmental Health, Ghana Health Service, said acute respiratory infections ranked second among the five top diseases in Ghana.

The acute respiratory infections, Dr Clarke noted were associated with poor air quality and they were normally on the increase during November to March, which was the dry season.

She said research findings revealed that children in Accra, who lived along main roads, had higher levels of respiratory problems than those who lived away from the roads

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