Analysis of air emissions from iron and steel industries in Uganda.
Bwette, Henry Owen
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Particulate matter (PM) is considered one of the primary air pollutants globally. As one of the highest energy consumption and pollution industries, the iron and steel industry is regarded as a significant source of particulate matter emission.PM is responsible for significant adverse health effects ranging from aggravated asthma and other respiratory symptoms to increased mortality rates due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer from short- and long-term exposure. Iron and steel industries activities like sintering, electric arc furnaces and rolling mills release these air emissions. However, significant data gaps were existing on the particular contribution of emissions from iron and steel industries in Uganda to air pollution, hence the need for this study. This report details the research in analysis of air emissions from iron and steel industries in Uganda and was geographically limited to industries in Kampala and metropolitan areas. PM10, PM2.5 and VOC measurements, obtained using an automatic slack gas tester were adopted from 5 industries and compared to WHO sand USA NAAQS. PM10 and PM2.5 measurements of only one of the five industries were able to meet the standards as the rest were far above accepted limits. For VOC, all of the 5 industries managed to meet the set standards. Unacceptable air quality standards in the industries were largely attributed to absence of adequate air quality control equipment. A section of people living and working near two of the five iron and steel industries in the study were also interviewed in a questionnaire. It was found out that the majority experienced abnormal health conditions attributed to air quality and also lacked the exposure to air quality information. Measures and recommendations were given to the various stakeholders in an attempt to curb the effects of air emissions from iron and steel industries.