Air pollution in Accra neighborhoods: spatial, socioeconomic, and temporal patterns

Environ Sci Technol. 2010 Apr 1;44(7):2270-6. doi: 10.1021/es903276s.


This study examined the spatial, socioeconomic status (SES), and temporal patterns of ambient air pollution in Accra, Ghana. Over 22 months, integrated and continuous rooftop particulate matter (PM) monitors were placed at a total of 11 residential or roadside monitoring sites in four neighborhoods of varying SES and biomass fuel use. PM concentrations were highest in late December and January, due to dust blown from the Sahara. Excluding this period, annual PM(2.5) ranged from 39 to 53 microg/m(3) at roadside sites and 30 to 70 microg/m(3) at residential sites; mean annual PM(10) ranged from 80 to 108 microg/m(3) at roadside sites and 57 to 106 microg/m(3) at residential sites. The low-income and densely populated neighborhood of Jamestown/Ushertown had the single highest residential PM concentration. There was less difference across traffic sites. Daily PM increased at all sites at daybreak, followed by a mid-day peak at some sites, and a more spread-out evening peak at all sites. Average carbon monoxide concentrations at different sites and seasons ranged from 7 to 55 ppm, and were generally lower at residential sites than at traffic sites. The results show that PM in these four neighborhoods is substantially higher than the WHO Air Quality Guidelines and in some cases even higher than the WHO Interim Target 1, with the highest pollution in the poorest neighborhood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution / analysis*
  • Air Pollution / economics
  • Air Pollution / statistics & numerical data
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis
  • Ghana
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter / analysis
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Seasons
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Particulate Matter
  • Carbon Monoxide