City coun­cil fights back against creep­ing air pol­lu­tion lev­els

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPOSTER - JBJ REPORTER

MA­JOR air pol­lu­tants are car­bon diox­ide, meth­ane and wa­ter vapour.

Car­bon diox­ide and meth­ane are by prod­ucts from burn­ing fos­sil fu­els like oil, gas and coal to power modes of trans­port with a com­bus­tion en­gine such as cars, buses, air­planes, boats.

They are also pro­duced by the pro­duc­tion in fac­to­ries of new things we buy and dur­ing the gen­er­a­tion of elec­tric­ity.

As crazy as it sounds, cow “burps” are a source of global warm­ing too. When cows burp, they re­lease meth­ane and it is also pro­duced when garbage de­com­poses in land­fills.

Wa­ter vapour is caused by evap­o­ra­tion of wa­ter and is in­creased by us­ing wa­ter be­sides rain to wa­ter the lawns or plants, wash our cars, wa­ter farm fields and golf cour­ses.

Air pol­lu­tion is a key fac­tor that af­fects the health of a city. In Cape Town, we be­lieve the south­easter wind rids the city of air pol­lu­tion.

But the city says air pol­lu­tion lev­els are fre­quently high in in­for­mal ar­eas and even in­side shacks, which ex­poses chil­dren, women and the el­derly to dan­ger­ous lev­els of such pol­lu­tion.

In win­ter, a brown haze is a com­mon sight across the Cape Flats right up to the moun­tains that bor­der our city.

Th­ese lev­els of air pol­lu­tion rep­re­sent a ma­jor health risk.

The city coun­cil says it has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to ad­dress the causes of air pol­lu­tion and elim­i­nate the risks to peo­ple’s health. It has a air qual­ity man­age­ment plan.

The city calls on ev­ery­one to con­trib­ute to mak­ing “Cape Town the city with the clean­est air in Africa.”

COUGH, COUGH: Air pol­lu­tion can af­fect our hearts.

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