Subtle harm from the ‘seemingly’ harmless (2)

The main impact of methane is on a global scale, as a greenhouse gas. Although levels of methane in the environment are relatively low, its high “global warming potential” (21 times that of carbon dioxide) ranks it amongst the worst of the greenhouse gases. At normal environmental concentrations, methane has no impact on human health. At extremely high (artificial) concentrations in an enclosed space, the reduction in oxygen levels could lead to suffocation.

  • Elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide can cause damage to the human respiratory tract and increase a person’s vulnerability to, and the severity of, respiratory infections and asthma.
  • Long-term exposure to high levels of nitrogen dioxide can cause chronic lung disease.
  • It may also affect the senses, for example, by reducing a person’s ability to smell an odour.
  • High levels of nitrogen dioxide are also harmful to vegetation—damaging foliage, decreasing growth or reducing crop yields.

A United Nations Conference on Human Environment noted that “a time has come in history when we must shape our actions with more prudent care for our environmental consequences. Through ignorance or indifference, we can do massive and irreversible harm to the earthly environment on which our life and wellbeing depend.”- Source: The Nation; Jan 15, 2020.

N.B: Six gases constitute the Green House Gas (GHG)emission. They include Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous Oxide, Sulphurhexafluoride, Hydrofluorocarbon, and Perfluorocarbon.

Can you see that three out of six greenhouse gases are the same as the ones emitted from firewood? You may be thinking, “I only get to eat such jollof once in a while.” As true as that is, the women responsible for the food might be going through the same hazardous process every other weekend. Moreover, research has it that about 70% of Nigeria’s population still depends on wood as a source of fuel for their cooking. You can see that a big one. Therefore, we count on you to help raise awareness, let’s save our women and children from untimely death and let’s save our environment from disaster.

Written by Oluwabukola Olajide