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Research Project: Impact and Causes of Air Pollution

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The research work is primarily on industrial pollution; focusing on air pollution in the Ilupeju industrial estate of Lagos State, in Mushin Local Government Area. Air pollution has been a serious problem to the people who reside closely to Ilupeju industrial zone since inception of the area. It has been responsible for various ailments among the people and those who work in the industries that pollute the air through the use of some dangerous chemicals. The research work looked at the various ways by which air pollution is being generated in the area, the effects on the people and the possible control measures to minimize its further damage on the health of the people and the place for national development and global empowerment.


The environment is the setting of man’s various productive activities. The impact of man on the landscape through these activities and the extent of environmental pollution arising there from have been well documented (Atubi and Onokala, 2006a, Atubi, 2007b).

In Nigeria today, most of the industrial estates are not meant for industries alone; residential homes can be found in the so-called industrial estates also. And with this development, the problem of industrial pollution has effects on man, plants and materials. The areas which contain industries manufacturing different products such as petrochemicals, detergents, injects harmful wastes into the air such as carbon monoxide, sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons which are the major sources of air pollution.

Generally, the release of industrial waste into the air has been responsible for many health problems such as chronic bronchitis, malaria, asthma and also the damaging of roofing sheets and buildings. The resident are not fully aware of the damages being done to their lives and properties by those harmful wastes. Most of the past researches in Nigeria and the world in general on industrial pollution such as Hodges (1977); Mcgraw-Hill (1977); Okoro (1979); Nwafor (1981); Simmon (1982); Kormondy (1984); Segynola (1988); Ohagi (1988); Ademorati (1988); Miller (1994); Hill (1999) to mention a few, have their focus on effects and causes of industrial pollution in general and not on industrial estate. Available evidence (Census, 1991) shows that about sixty thousand people reside in the Ilupeju industrial area, yet very low priority is accorded to the problems of industrial pollution and environmental quality in the area.

The problem of air pollution is worse in Lagos than in any other Nigerian city. It is also more complex in Lagos. The study is aimed at analyzing the effects of industrial air pollution on the residents and environments of Ilupeju industrial estate as a way for national development and global empowerment.


This study is focused on Ilupeju industrial estate, which in the context of this paper comprises of over 20 streets and for proper administration it was further divided into three zones. The zones are Ilupeju bye-pass as zone A, Coker area as zone B, Town Planning area as zone C.

Ilupeju industrial estate is located within the Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State. It covers an area of about 110 hectares of land. It is transversed by longitude 30 and 3060I east and latitude 3030Inorth. It is bounded in the North by Ikeja Local Government Area, in the east by Somolu Local Government Area, in the West by Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area, and in the South by Surulere Local Government Area in Lagos State in 1962 (fig. 1).

It occupies a unique position in Lagos State, firstly as an industrial zone, secondly as a commercial centre, thirdly as a residential area and lastly as a major route.

The concentration of industries can be found in Ilupeju industrial estate. And the area is well established because of the rapid growth of new and large industrial establishments, which include good transportation, and relatively high standard of available public utilities. The industries on this estate include paints, plastic, textiles, printing services and the manufacturers of soap and detergents etc. The banking sector is another sector found amongst the economic activities that takes place in Ilupeju.

The data on which the study is based were collected through questionnaire survey in the year 2005 from three zones to which Ilupeju industrial estate was divided. The random/systematic sampling techniques was used to select a number of streets. Out of the 20 streets in the area 10 were randomly selected for the study in which three houses were again selected randomly with two persons selected for interview. Responses from the questionnaires were mainly used for data analysis. The computation elied on averaging model, percentages and Analysis of variance (ANOVA).


Mcgraw-Hill (1977) stated that other sources such as pesticides and man’s earth-moving and agricultural practices lead to vastly increased atmospheric burden of the soil particles and of pollens, spots, rust and smuts.

Okoro (1979) further stated that industrialization is as a result of man’s attempt to provide himself with facilities for optimum employment. Industries leave behind peculiar wastes. They also pollute our environment, think of the cloud of smoke that emerges from the industrial house and apparently disappears into the air, think of various colour liquid some of them have foul smells that are emptied into the rivers, lagoons and oceans. They change environment’s composition and destroy its purity. To assess this, respondents were asked to mention the causes of industrial pollution in the estate. The response made showed that the use of chemicals in Zone A is one of the major causes of pollution in the area followed by the release of smoke from the industries which 24 people responded to it, while the poor disposal of waste and noise from machineries have responses of 23 and 20 respectively.

In zone B, 19 people responded to the use of chemicals, 10 to the poor disposal of waste, 9 people indicated to the noise from machineries and 15 responded to the release of smokes from industries.

Finally, in zone C, 20 people indicated that the use of chemicals is the major cause of industrial pollution. 18 responded to the poor disposal of waste, 17 to noise from the machineries, and 18 to the release of smokes. Table 1 shows the details. From the table it could seen that zone A and C had high indications than B, this is because Zone A and C are the nearest neighbours to different industries while zone B are area away from the industries.


Use of Chemical 25 19 20 64 29.4
Poor Disposal of Waste 23 10 18 51 23.4
Noise from Machines 20 9 17 46 21.1
Release of Smokes 24 15 18 57 26.1
Total 92 53 73 218 100

Source: Field Survey, 2005

Therefore, the major causes of industrial air pollution as seen from the table is because of the use of chemicals which in turn pollute the area through the release of smoke.


Restlessness 20 10 21 51 23.2
Persistent cough and chest pain 20 10 20 50 22.7
Eye irritation 21 20 20 61 27.7
Asthmatic patient 20 19 19 58 26.4
Total 81 59 80 220 100

Source: Field Survey, 2005

Table 2 shows that in zone A 20 indicated that restlessness has been one of the effects of industrial air pollution followed by persistent cough and chest pain, eye irritation which is the highest with 21 responses and 20 for asthmatic patients.

Zone B, as could be seen from the table 2 had eye patient with 20 respondents and 10 respondents respectively for restlessness and persistent cough and chest pain.

Zone C showed that the effect of industrial air pollution is more on eye irritation and persistent cough and chest pain with 20 respondents respectively while restlessness had the highest respondents and asthmatic patient has 19 respondents.

From the above table 2, the effects of industrial air pollution is felt more in Zone A followed by Zone B and this is because the residential areas are nearest to the industrial area. Zone B has a total of 59 compared to Zone A (81) and Zone C (80). From the table it indicated that zones A and B have the highest effects of industrial pollution than zone C.

Hypotheses were formulated and tested using analysis of variance statistic. The calculated values are 10.27 and 3.72 and the critical table value are 4.26 and 4.26. Therefore, there is variation of industrial air pollution in Ilupeju industrial estate. (See Appendix 1 and 2 for necessary computations).


In order to prevent severe health hazards arising from increased industrial activities which pollutes the environment, government’s silence on environmental protection over the years should be broken and public interest must be sufficiently aroused through documentaries and corrective measures of pollution. We should therefore, plan ahead, and learn from the mistakes of the industrialized nations and their current efforts to correct those mistakes. We should not allow pollution to be the price of the state’s progress.

The establishment of some parastatals concerned with the maintenance of sanity in environment is the next step in the right direction. The Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Ministry of Health, etc. amongst others are charged with the responsibility of protecting the environment and maintaining a healthy environments as a way for national development and global employment.

However, to grapple effectively with our environmental problems and enhance the quality of life in our settlements, we require information in the nature and dimension of these problems. The State Government should make funds available for relevant research to increase our understanding of the source and effect of gaseous pollutant and all disciplines have a role to play in this regard. There is need to design relatively, cheap yet efficient methods of waste disposal for our towns and cities (Atubi and Oriero, 2006b).

Finally, it may be observed that in the area of pollution control, there must be a good deal of cooperation between professionals. The engineers should explore different alternatives of controls; the economists must determine which combination of measures is least costly for a given degree or control. The social scientists explore the intangible benefits associated with different level of control, the surveyors to determine how best each level of control could be developed and the jurist establish how different control measures can be enforced. The decision regarding the control measures can be adopted and enforced. However, the adoptions rest with the people and the government. They will have to pay for it and will have to live with it.


The result of the study has shown that all environmental pollution in Ilupeju industrial estate is created by man’s activities in living, producing and consuming goods and services. These activities generate net benefits to the people undertaking them even though they may impose unwanted cost.

An important objective of environmental resources management in Lagos State is to plan towards an improvement of overall quality of the state’s human environment and this plan should be undertaken from the local level upwards. To achieve this objective, a strategy should be worked out to ensure that the use of resources for the welfare of man does not result in a conflict between the environment and development or between resource utilization and man.


Ademoroti C. M. A. (1988), “Environmental Management: Case Studies on Industrial Waste water treatment”, Environmental issues and management in Nigeria Development. Pp. 200 – 206

Atubi, A. O. and Onokala, P. C. (2006a) “The Socio-Economic Effects of Oil Spillage on Agriculture in the Niger-Delta: A case study of Olomoro, Delta State, Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Studies vol. 2 No.4. Pp. 46 – 52.

Atubi, A. O. and Oriero, S. B. (2006b) Environmental Sanitation in Abraka Metropolis; Towards A public policy in Akinbode, A and Ugbomeh B (eds) Abraka Region pp. 118 – 128.

Atubi, A. O. (2007b) The Perception of Industrial Disturbances in Nigeria Cities: A Geographical Appraisal of Benin-City. Journal of Environmental Analar (forthcoming).

Hill J. (1999), General Chemistry: An Integrated approach 2nd edition, Englewood Cliffs, N. J. Prenctice Hall.

Hodges L. (1977), Environmental Pollution: 2nd Edition U.S.A., Library of Congress cataloging in publication Data. Pp. 6 – 8.

Kormondy, E. J. (1984), Concept of Ecology, Englewood Cliffs, N. J. Prentice – Hall P. 35.

Mcgraw-Hill (1977) Encyclopaedia of Environmental Science, New York: Mcgraw-hill p. 35.

Miller, G. T. (1994) Living in the environment: Principles, Connection and Solution 8th edition Belmont California, Wadsworth. Pp. 569 – 583, 645 – 647.

Nwafor, J. C. (1981) “An Evaluation of Land Conservation Problems of Extractive and Manufacturing Industries in Nigeria: A case study of Nkalagu Cement Industry” In U. M. Gbozurike (ed.) Land Use and Conservation in Nigeria. Nsukka; University of Nigeria Press, Pp. 128 – 36.

Ohaji, S.M.O. (1988), “The Effects of Brewery Effluent Discharge on Ikpoba River Water Quality, Benin City” Environmental issues and management in Nigeria Development, Pp. 196 – 197.

Okoro, P. T. (1979) Environmental Problems and Your Health: A paper presented to the Ministry of Health.

Segynola, A. A. (1988) “The Nigerian Industrial Landscape and Environmental Degradation”. Environmental issues and Management in Nigeria Development, Pp. 174 – 179.

Simon, I. G. (1982) The Ecology of Natural Resources, 2nd edition. Edward Arnold Limited, Pp. 277 – 279.



Use of Chemical 25 19 20
Poor Disposal of Waste 23 10 18
Noise from Machines 20 9 17
Release of Smokes 24 15 18


SSt=Sum of Square total

Ssw=Sum of square within

SSb=Sum of Square between

Assign X1, X2 and X3 to the various zones


X12 X2 X22 X3 X32
25 625 19 361 20 400
23 529 10 100 18 324
20 400 9 81 17 289
24 576 15 225 18 324
n1 = 4

ΣX1 = 92

ΣX12 = 2130

X1 = 23

n2 = 4

ΣX2 – 53

ΣX22 = 767

X2 = 13.3

n3 = 4

ΣX3 = 73

ΣX32 = 1337

X3 = 18.3

Ho: There is no variation of industrial Air Pollution in the study Area. Calculate the F – ratio and use it to test for the significant difference

SSt – ΣX2 = (ΣX)2


ΣX2 = ΣX1+ ΣX22 + Σ32

= 2130 + 767 + 1337 = 4234

N = n1 + n2 + n3

= 4 + 4 + 4 = 12

ΣX = ΣX1 + ΣX2 + ΣX3

= 92 + 53 + 73 = 218

SSt=4234 – (218)2


SSt = 4234 – 3960 = 273.7

To get SSb

SSb = ( X1)2 + ( ΣX2)2 + (ΣX3)2 – ( ΣX)2

n1 n2 n3 N

(92)2 + (53)2 + (73)2 – (218)2

4 4 4 12

(2116 + 702.3 + 1332.3) – 3960.3

4150.6 – 3960.3

SSb = 190.3

To get SSw

SSw = SSt – SSb

273.7 – 190.3

SSw = 83.4

Determine the F – ratio

F = MSb


Where MSb = Mean Square between

MSw = Mean Square Within

Firstly, dfb (df between) = K – 1

Where K = number of groups

dfb = 3 – 1 = 2

Secondly, dfw (df within) = N – K

Where N = Number of subjects

dfw = 12 – 3 = 9

df total = N – 1

12 – 1 = 11

MSb = SSb = 190.3

dfb 2=95.2

Then MSw = SSw83.4

dfw 9=9.27

F = MSb = 95,2

MSw 9.27=10.27

The calculated F-ratio must be larger than the theoretical F-ratio to reject the hypothesis.

At 0.05 level of confidence,

Theoretical F = 4.26

Calculated F = 10.27

Therefore, there is variation of industrial Air Pollution in the study area.



Effect of Industrial Air Pollution Zone A Zone B Zone C
Restlessness 20 10 21
Persistent cough and chest pain 20 10 20
Eye Irritation 21 20 20
Asthmatic patient 20 19 19



X12 X2 X22 X3 X32
20 400 10 100 21 441
20 400 10 100 20 400
21 441 20 400 20 400
20 400 19 361 19 361

n1 = 4n2 = 4n3 = 4

ΣX1 = 81ΣX2 = 59ΣX3 = 80

ΣX12 – 1641 ΣX22 = 961ΣX32 = 1602

X1 = 20.3X2 = 14.8X3 = 20

SSt = ΣX2 = ( ΣX)2


ΣX2 = ΣX12 + ΣX22 + ΣX32

1641 + 961 + 1602 = 4204

N = n1 + n2 + n3

= 4 + 4 + 4 =12

ΣX = ΣX1 + ΣX2 + ΣX3

= 81 + 59 + 80 = 220

SSt = 4204 – (220)2


SSt = 4204 – 4033.3 = 170.7

To get SSb

SSb = ( ΣX1)2 + ( ΣX2)2 + ( ΣX3)2 – ( ΣX)2

n1 n2 n3 N

(18)2 + (59)2 + (80)2 – (220)2

4 4 4 12

1640.3 + 870.3 + 1600 – 4033.3

4110.6 – 4033.3

SSb = 77.3

To get SSw

SSw = SSt – SSb

170.7 – 77.3 = 93.4

F = MSb


dfb = 3 – 1 = 2

dfw = 12 – 3 = 9

MSb = SSb – 77.3

dfb 2 =38.7

MSw = SSw = 93.4

dfw 9=10.4

F = MSb=38.7


Theoretical F = 4.26

Calculated F = 3.72


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