La Trinidad air quality low

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Friday, December 6, 2013

REPORTS from the Environment department confirm dwindling air quality in the Valley.

Wilhelmina Lagunilla, chief planning officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau, said results of air quality survey over parts of the province capital confirm a dwindling quality of air.

Lagunila said the survey monitors Total Suspended Particulate (TSP) air quality standard and found the Valley falling behind the normal standards.

Data shows results from the Ambient Air Quality Sampling and Monitoring Stations within the BLISTT airshed areas surveyed since 2009.

Two areas in the Valley were monitored: the Police Outpost, Kilometer 5 and the Provincial Capitol at Kilometer 6. Both had TSP counts below standards.

Lagunilla said a quarterly evaluation has been done on a 24 hour period for the Valley on both areas.

“Bumabagsak [ang La Trinidad sa survey] every quarter,” she reported.
Factors affecting Ambient Air Quality include man-made sources like mobile sources (vehicles), stationary sources (factories, electric generators) and area sources (farms, dumpsites) while natural sources include soil, pollen, spores, volcanic ash and sea spray.

Air pollutants are any chemicals or compounds introduced in the environment which can harm human health and the surroundings. There are 6 air pollutants: particulate matter, Total Suspended Particulates (TSP), PM10 (Course Particulates), PM2.5 (fine particulates), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and lead.

The EMB, however, notes an improvement of air quality of the Valley since the implementation of the number coding scheme, lessening the number of vehicles traversing the main roads.

The scheme has been in effect since last year, formulated in a bid to lessen traffic and congestion in the main thoroughfares.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 07, 2013.

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