The soot or black soot as it’s called is a smooth black particles, predominantly composed of carbon, produced by incomplete burning of coal, oil, wood, or other fuels, and particularly, diesel exhaust pollution and gas flaring accounts for over one quarter of the total hazardous pollution in the air that give rise to black soot.
Among these diesel emission components, particulate matter which are microscopic solid or liquid matter suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere has been a serious concern for human health due to its direct and broad impact on the respiratory organs which eventually leads to chronic lung disease, lung cancer, influenza, asthma, and increased mortality rate.
Recently residents of Port Harcourt the Rivers state capital of Nigeria started noticing deposits of the soot on their rooftops, cars and almost every surface in their household. Their concern have become deepened as some barely know the real cause or origin of this black soot that now poses as a threat to their lives.
The truth remains that there is a product of combustion which is an incomplete burning process that emits carbon into the atmosphere, and this is as a result of many industries that process hydro-carbon materials, as well as activities of illegal refineries and other diesel smoke emitting engines.
One would one to ask if the Government is aware of the situation, yes they are, the Ministry of environment has sent separate investigative teams to all parts of the State and is already working on the strong hypothesis that the black soot might be caused by artisanal oil refining activities, the burning of car tyres at night in different locations in the state, and other air-polluting activities around the state.
So if residents of the State will stop the burning of tires or any illegal oil mining activities, and oil companies put a stop to gas flaring, black soot will become a thing of the past, but if not so, the status quo will have to remain the same.
Video Credit: Hegi Akogun