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Real time black carbon measurements in West and Central Africa urban sites

Real time measurements of Black Carbon (BC) in PM2.5 aerosols were performed during AMMA and POLCA programs, between 2005 and 2010 in Cotonou (Benin), Dakar (Senegal), Bamako (Mali), and Yaounde (Cameroon). Indeed, BC was chosen as a metric because of its interest as an urban pollutant. The instrumented sites are representative of the traffic source. At Dakar, BC concentrations are high from November to April (13,000  +ou- 3500 ng/m3) and lower from May to September (8000 +ou- 3200 ng/m3). In dry season (November-April), high BC concentrations occurred as a result of northeasterly long-range transport of polluted air masses over West Africa, in addition to local emissions. However, during wet season (May-September) reduced traffic levels, school vacations and wet deposition processes contribute to lower BC concentration levels. Measured diurnal BC peak concentrations, at all sites, mainly occur during morning and evening rush-hour periods, indicating the paramount role of traffic. Highest values are observed between 5-9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. depending on the site, while lowest are occurred at night time and middle afternoon when activities of the population are reduced. BC source apportionment from absorption measurements also confirmed the relative importance of traffic (88%) versus biomass burning (12%). Also, BC measurements were functions of days of the week, with highest values occurring on Fridays and lowest ones on Sundays. Spatial variations associated to BC levels are very different from one site to another, revealing different types of sources with strong variations at the regional scale. It appears that mean BC concentrations in Dakar are lower by a factor of two, compared to those observed in Bamako, but remain higher than in some other West African sites (e.g. Cotonou, Yaounde). Overall, BC concentrations in our different sites are comparable to reported European and Asian megacity levels. Finally, using measured BC/PM2.5 ratios, we have estimated PM2.5 mass concentrations in Dakar from June 2008 to June 2009 to be 44.4  14.3 mgm3, well above the WHO (2005) threshold of 10 mgm3. This paper clearly highlights high pollution levels in West African large cities, with potential important impacts on the health of the regional population. 

Auteur(s) : El Hadji Thierno Doumbia, Catherine Liousse, Corinne Galy-Lacaux, Seydi Ababacar Ndiaye, Babacar Diop, Marie Ouafo, Eric Michel Assamoi, Eric Gardrat,
Pages : 529-537
Année de publication : 2012
Revue : Atmospheric Environment
N° de volume : 54
Type : Article
Mise en ligne par : NDIAYE Seydi Ababacar