What is POLCA project ?

The importance of urban air pollution in Africa has recently been stressed through several preliminary studies :

- experimental tests on pollutant gas concentrations measurements in eight African capitals driven by Laboratoire d’Aérologie and various African laboratories (Yoboué et al., 2004)
- the AMMA campaign in Cotonou (may 2005) focused on particles (Guinot et al., 2009)
- new west african traffic emission estimates (Assamoi and Liousse, 2009)

It is in this context that the POLCA programme has been designed. POLCA is the French acronym for « POLlution des Capitales Africaines” (e.g. African capitals pollution). It is supported by the CORUS 2 program developed by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Its goal for 2007-2010 is to characterize the atmospheric pollution in two African capitals (Dakar and Bamako) and to jointly study at same time, the impact of this pollution on health, specially on respiratory diseases.

Scope and Objectives

-  Weekly, seasonal and annual gas and particle concentrations measurements to determine population exposure levels.
-  Chemical speciation of aerosols by size classes for organic, inorganic particles and trace elements.
-  Link between aerosol size differentiated composition and health toxicity, particularly for oxidative stress generated by reactive oxigen species (ROS) measured in vitro.
-  Follow up sub-population groups through measurements of their respiratory capacity and inflammatory levels using blood markers and analysis of hospital admissions for respiratory diseases.
-  Link between exposure data and sub-population group follow up.
-  Quantification of specific emissions generated by fuel consumptions from trucks, cabs, motorbikes, domestic fuels.

In addition to the above experimental design of POLCA, a modeling effort is developed in Laboratoire d’Aérologie, in the frame of the Environment/Health Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (OMP) axis , including pollution emissions, transport and impact on health both through toxicological and epidemiological approaches.