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Sources And Levels Of Particulate Matter In North African And Sub-Saharan Cities: A Literature Review

L. Naidja, Hocine Ali-Khodja, S. Khardi
Published 2018 · Environmental Science, Medicine

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In order to assess the significance of PM in ambient air, it is necessary to evaluate their physical and chemical characteristics as well as identify their major emission sources. On a global scale, particulate matter in the atmosphere arises mainly from the combustion process of motorized vehicles, but natural sources are still considered as the major contributors. In Africa, PM emissions differ from those in developed countries; human activities such as biomass burning in households, poor household waste management, and the high number of diesel-powered vehicles are the predominant anthropogenic sources. Natural contributions are also observed. Saharan dust and savanna fires are the most common atmospheric natural sources of particulate matter. The present literature review gives an overview of the status of air quality in African cities and highlights the various sources of particulate matter emissions and local human activities specific to each African region. This could likely serve as a reference to evaluate the current air quality in this region and will be a useful tool in the future to develop pollution mitigation strategies at the source. Recommendations are proposed in the conclusion in order to reduce emissions from their sources, taking into account the low-income African countries.
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