Air pollution mars New Year
Like in the previous years, air pollution greeted the start of 2017. At 12 midnight, fireworks lighted up the sky and released toxic fumes which will linger in the air for hours or days. Pollution levels are dangerously high and many times over world health standards.
Reports from DENR said that as of 12 a.m. of January 1, the monitoring station at the De La Salle University (DLSU) in Manila recorded a PM2.5 level of 448 micrograms per normal cubic meter (ug/ Ncm), while pollution levels in the cities of Paranaque, Taguig, Valenzuela and Muntinlupa were 433, 324, 285 and 175 ug/ Ncm, respectively. As of 2 a.m. of the same day, the air quality monitoring stations in Pasig City and the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City recorded PM2.5 levels of 397 and 369 ug/ Ncm, respectively.
The PM2.5 levels in the cities mentioned fall under the category of extremely dangerous. The healthy guideline values for PM2.5 is only 25 ug/ Ncm annually and 50 ug/ Ncm for 24-hour averaging. All stations have registered higher levels of PM2.5 compared to last year’s festivities. On regular days, such as in the month of April 2015, PM2.5 readings in selected air quality monitoring stations are generally lower values: DLSU with 7 to 182 ug/ Ncm ; Paranaque, 6 to 18 ug/Ncm; and Muntinlupa with 8 to 42 ug/ Ncm.
This situation is not unique to the Philippines. In Beijing, China, pollution climbed as high as 24 times the level recommended by the World Health Organization on New Year. More than 100 flights were cancelled and all intercity buses were halted at the capital’s airport. In the neighbouring port city of Tianjin, more than 300 flights were cancelled while the weather forecast warned thick smog will persist until 5 January. In Munich, Germany, particulate levels briefly reached 26 times the EU-recommended daily limit of 50 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter of air.
Tiny particles like PM 2.5, are small enough to bypass the respiratory system’s defenses, getting into the lungs, where they can even penetrate the bloodstream. People who live in places where PM 2.5 is high have more heart attacks, depressed lung function, worse asthma, and overall die younger than people who breathe clean air.
Fireworks are supposed to drive away bad spirits. But it seems it is doing the exact opposite.
***** Speaking of air pollution, I was informed by a concerned citizen about the burning of garbage in the plush subdivisions of Angeles City. According to the informant, some residents in Villa Teresa and Villa Angelina are burning their garbage to the detriment of their neighbors and the environment. This practice was already declared illegal by two environmental laws.
Section 48 of RA 9003 or the ecological and Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 prohibits the open burning of solid waste. Violators can be fined from P300 to P1,000, or imprisoned from 1 to 15 days, or both. Section 13, Rule XXV of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 8749 or the Clean Air Act states that “no person shall be allowed to burn any materials in any quantities which shall cause the emission of toxic and poisonous fumes”.
Calling the attention of the CENRO of Angeles City, kindly look into this information sir.