Impact of black soot emissions on public health in Niger Delta, Nigeria: understanding the severity of the problem

Osazuwa Clinton Ekhator, Fortune Chiemelie Orish, Ernest O Nnadi, Daprim Samuel Ogaji, Success Isuman, Orish Ebere Orisakwe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Rivers State, Niger Delta, Nigeria often referred to as the 'treasure bed of the nation' is the seat of crude oil production activities with the accompanying environmental degradation. The severity of the environmental pollution and contaminated air quality took a new turn for the worse in November 2016, when the residents of Port Harcourt city, Rivers State, a major oil producing State experienced for the first time, aerosol deposition of plumes of black soot. This systematic review paper is aimed at quantifying the severity of this public health challenge. Using appropriate search words, the following databases SCOPUS, PUBMED, Google Scholar, and AJOL were searched from 1990 to 2022 to enable comparative analyses of data before and after the emergence of black soot deposition. Air-related morbidities and mortalities such as cerebrospinal meningitis (CSM), chronic bronchitis, measles, pertussis, hemoptysis, cough, pulmonary tuberculosis, pneumonia, and upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), pneumonia, eye irritation, conjunctivitis, traumatic skin outgrowth, cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and child deformities were compared with levels of air pollutants and particulate matter. The results showed that Port Harcourt city's ambient air quality data were above the standard National Ambient Air Quality data and that of other regulatory agencies having higher levels of both inorganic and organic pollutants. There were significant relationships between air pollutants concentration with morbidities. These correlations were significant in the period covering 2016-2022. Consequently, it is concluded that the black soot emissions in Port Harcourt city, Nigeria has worsened the public health situation in the city.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
Number of pages13
JournalInhalation Toxicology
Early online date25 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Dec 2023


  • Black soot
  • Pollution
  • Air quality
  • Oil production


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