Various Fumes from generator engines, remains one of the most dangerous silent killer in most part of African countries especially Nigeria due to high demand of generator sets, as a source of electricity at home, school, market,offices ETC .
Generator fume is well known to be hazardous to both human, animals and sometimes the Green Plants are even affected. Most particularly risk been observed are inhalation at workers in diesel/fuel industries site (such as trucking) and communities located near major sources of diesel/fuel generator engines.
Many have died as a result of inhaling the fumes of carbon monoxide from generator engines, while hundreds are still at hospital,finding it extremely difficult for respiration due to emitting toxic fume that causes cancer and other health challenges
In a Research by African climate reporters,it shows clearly that ,Majority of Nigerian rely on local set of generators as a source of electricity at home ,and has lead to large importation of generator set into the country without thinking of the consequences of keeping it for domestic purpose , Poor awareness on how to use a generator set has led to series of deaths from generator fumes and other health challenges .
Generator fume inhaling have the potential to cause a range of damage to the human health system. Since the exposure to generator engine fume is related to the combustion design of diesel/fume engines. They use compressor instead of spark plugs to ignite the fuel and the by-product of that processes a rich soap of gases (mostly carbon (soot), Nitrogen, Water, Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Oxide, Polycyclic Aromatic hydrocarbons).
The carbon particles or soot content in the diesel/fuel generator varies for 60% to 80% depending on the types of (diesel/fuel) used by the generator engine. Older engine are worse offenders, but even newly designed Generator is not a guarantee that it will not be a pollutant equipment, it continue to emits as far too many oxide of Nitrogen, carbon, Sulphur and other fine particle. In fact, generator fume can produce about (20-100) times per day particles, then a refined gasoline generator engines.
Large number of African dies yearly as a result of keeping it for domestics used
Generator fume and vapour can irritate eyes, noise, throat and lungs. But excessive short term inhalation/exposure to generator fume can lead to dizziness, drowsiness, loss of co-ordination, blood pressure elevation, headaches, nausea asphyxiation and lung damage breathing generator fume for a long term/periods of time can lead to kidney damage and reduce the clotting ability of blood
Indeed ,headache is one of the most common symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning. Other symptoms include:dizziness,nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting,tiredness and confusion,stomach pain,shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
1-Have all fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, water heaters, and gas dryers, properly installed, maintained, and operated, and inspected annually by a qualified technician.
2-Periodically check and clean fireplace chimneys and flues.
3-Use unvented fuel-burning space heaters only while someone is awake to monitor them, and only while doors or windows in the room are open to provide ventilation.
4-Routinely inspect automobile exhaust systems, including catalytic converters, for defects, and routinely inspect tailpipes for blockage by snow, mud, or other substances.
5-Take part in swimming and other recreational activities only in areas away from where gasoline-powered engines, such as those on houseboats, vent their exhaust.
6-Never use portable electric generators in enclosed areas or in areas where the exhaust may vent through a door or window into a home or other building.
7-Install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors in homes–in hallways near sleeping areas–as well as in houseboats and workplaces.
8-Change or check carbon monoxide detector batteries at the same time smoke detector batteries are checked or changed.
9-Seek prompt medical attention if carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected and people feel dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.
10-Evacuate buildings and inform Government immediately if a carbon monoxide detector sounds.
There are a lot of steps that can be taken to reduce exposure to generator operators and users. Ideally, public residential system should purchase a new generating power/engine set that have reduced emission, but even with older diesel/fuel- powered generators, measures can be taken to reduce or eliminate exposure or unnecessary emission of harmful fume. May be the following with be of help to all those who still intend the use of generating set