Ambient Air Quality and the Incidence of Selected Diseases

Some Urban Health Observations in Lagos, Nigeria


  • K O Laro University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria
  • U A Raheem University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria


airborne diseases, air pollution, criteria pollutants, ambient air


The quality of air is determined by the extent of atmospheric pollution. The USEPA identifies
six criteria pollutants namely particulate matter (PM), ground level ozone, carbon
monoxide, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and lead exposure as toxic and injurious to human
health. Thus, there is a need to examine ambient air quality and incidence of selected
diseases in Lagos, Nigeria. The data for the study include a five-year sampling on criteria
pollutants and data on selected airborne diseases that were collected for the same period of
time. Data analysis adopted the use of multiple regression for examining the relationship
between ambient criteria pollutants and the occurrence of diseases. GIS procedure was also
employed to produce a map showing the spatial pattern of criteria pollutants. The findings
reveal an R2 of 19.8, 13.9, 8.9, 8.4 and 16.8 percent respectively for asthma, bronchitis, heart
failure, lung cancer and tuberculosis. The results show a low level of association and this
was attributed to other causal factors responsible for the occurrence of the selected diseases.
However, this study provides evidence of an association between outdoor air pollution and
increased risk from these diseases. Therefore, the study recommends that governments, and
other stakeholders in health sectors should harmonize efforts, resources and ideas towards
effective planning, monitoring, policy implementation and provision of facilities that could
control and ameliorate the presence of pollutants to which urban residents are exposed
thereby reducing the health effects from such exposures.




How to Cite

Laro, K. O., & Raheem, U. A. (2018). Ambient Air Quality and the Incidence of Selected Diseases: Some Urban Health Observations in Lagos, Nigeria. Impact: Journal of Transformation, 1(1), 66–89. Retrieved from