In Lagos Nigeria, this season is the harmattan period and it tends to be severe in this part of the world. It reduces visibility and the quality of air is reduced.
This season is accompanied by ailments such as cough and catarrh. Many people know about harmattan, but they do not know how the air quality around them had degraded.
Air quality around the world is measured through a standard known as Air Quality Index (AQI). The US Environmental Protection Agency AQI defined it as the yardstick, which runs from 0-500.
When the AQI value is higher, the air pollution level is higher, and there will be greater health challenges as well. When the AQI value of 50 means better air quality and that means that there is little danger that the public will be affected.
If on the other hands that the AQI reaches 300 it means that air quality around is hazardous.
If on the other hand that AQI value is 100 it generally means that the quality is normal. If the government wants to protect the public interests, they will set it at this level.
Whenever the value is above 100, it is considered unhealthy, and some sensitive people can be more affected than the less sensitive people can.
Whenever, it is in different categories. There are some health concerns that are associated with it. There are at least six levels of such concerns and this is what they mean.
When it is 0 to 50, it means that the quality is good, and the quality of air around is indeed satisfactory. Pollution at this stage is less risky
When it is moderate, it means that the level is between 51 to 100. At this level, the quality is acceptable. For certain pollutants, this level can be a concern. Classes of people, there is always a health concern when it reaches this level. The ozone layer level can make some people to begin to experience respiratory symptoms.
When the level reaches 101 to 150, it can be high. At this level, there is no reason to alert the public about the danger inherent. However, some categories of people will have cause to worry especially those that are suffering from a lung problem, children and older adults.
These are in danger of exposing such people to the ozone layer. In the same way, those that are suffering from heart related diseases are prone to more diseases because of exposure to air.
When the level reaches the level 151 to 200, the effect will become to be noticeable and many people will begin to experience it. It could be worse to people of the sensitive group as their condition can be worse.
If the level reaches 201 to 300, it becomes very unhealthy and it can trigger some health problems. More number of people could be affected by that. Now when it is more than 300, it can trigger health concerns, and this is the time the public could become concerned. This is because it could affect more people in the community.
This the various AQI categories, when it is compared to the Lagos daily AQI measurement, and this is the outcome. Today for instance, the measurement is 210 and this is not good for Lagos residents because it can make them unhealthy.
The government should do more to help the residents. They have to provide healthier and cleaner environments for the people. It is better when there are less pollution and regulation.