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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-25

Physico-chemical assessment of indoor air quality of a tertiary hospital in South–South Nigeria

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
B Ordinioha
P. O. Box 162 Omoku, Onelga, Rivers State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0795-3038.204717

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Background: Good ventilation is one of the structural designs used to reduce the risk of transmission of airborne infections in hospitals. This is, however, rarely observed in Nigeria as hospital designs used to shut out the inclement weather in temperate countries are copied without much modification. This study assessed the physico-chemical air quality at different areas of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, to ascertain the level of pollutants in the ambient air. Methods: The study was carried out in July, 2015, in randomly selected inpatient wards, outpatient clinics and clinical laboratories of the hospital, using the appropriate measuring equipment. The study tested for the presence of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the ambient air; as well as the prevailing micrometeorological indices of relative humidity, temperature, wind direction and speed of the study sites. Results: A total of 36 air quality measurements were carried out in nine study sites in the hospital. The assessed pollutants were present in the ambient air of most of the study sites but were within the regulatory limits. The concentration of NO2in the study sites ranged from 133 μg/m[3] in the immunisation clinic to 151 μg/m3 in the gynaecology ward, with a mean concentration of 141 μg/m3; while PM2.5was not detected in the gynaecology and urology wards and present in very low levels in the other study sites. There was, however, greater variability in the levels of VOCs, ranging from 236.57 mg/m3 in the HIV clinic to 530.77 mg/m3 in the male surgical ward. Conclusion: The levels of the assessed pollutants were within regulatory levels, even as there were evidence of poor ventilation in several of the study sites.

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