Assessment of Environmental Impacts of Limestone Exploitation in Igarra, Nigeria
- Limestone, Dust emission, PM2.5-10, Environment, Igarra.
The exploration of limestone is the nerve of socio-economic integration of the Igarra community. However, the exploration activities have been linked with several adverse effects on human health and the deterioration of the surrounding environment. This research work investigates the quality of air in the study area. Dust emission was measured using a digital air quality monitor of model HP 5800D PM2.5-10 with an accuracy of ±5% or ±4ug/m3 and measuring and detection ranges of 0.3 ug/m3 and 0-999.9 ug/m3. The dust level readings using PM2.5 and PM10 at 1 km apart from the three selected exploration sites in Igarra at a 60-minute interval was taken. Quarry one (Q1) recorded the lowest dust level of 20.6 μg//m3 for PM2.5 and 72.5 μg//m3 for PM10 in the early hours before exploration. The general outputs show that exploration sites (Q2) and (Q3) produced a high degree of polluted air than site Q1. A higher dust level of 966.0μg/m3 was recorded for PM10. The overall dust level measurements for PM2.5 and PM10 are higher than the recommended 70.0-80.0 μg/m3 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is projected that continuous emission of dust at Igarra could lead to an increasing number of diseases such as asthma, catarrh, and breathing problems. In conclusion, an integrated exploration mechanism is essential to improve air quality and substantially reduce air related pollution.