Summer events bad for city’s air: EMB-A A +A
Friday, April 16, 2010
THE SUMMER heat is taking its toll even on Baguio’s ambient air quality at the central business district.
Since Feb. 28 until today when the air is very humid, the ambient air quality monitoring station at the foot of Session Road showed an increased presence of PM10 particles in the atmosphere
PM10 are particulates emitted mostly by motor vehicles. These particles are so tiny they are able to enter the lungs. Prolonged or temporary exposure to PM10 results to coughing and irritation of the upper respiratory tract, among other illnesses.
Data from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) showed beginning Feb. 27 and 28, PM10 readings rose to 170 and 197µg (units per microgram).
The average air quality at the CBD is 150µg. This means air quality is fair to normal. The latest reading is classified as “unhealthy” or unfit for “sensitive groups” or those susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections.
The increased reading on the last week of February is attributed to the suspension of the Number Coding Ordinance and the closure of Session Road for the float parade and Session Road in bloom where outdoor cooking was done.
During the Holy Week, ambient air quality also increased to 170 µg.
The highest reading of the EMB was 250 µg and the current average air quality is at 180µg.
According to Wilhelmina Lagunila of the EMB-CAR, increased pollution levels for the months of the March and April could be attributed to the increase in the number of people coming to Baguio, the recent of which was the arrival of 10,000 youth delegates.
She said the humidity also contributes to high readings because ozone and other greenhouse gases, which is also emitted by vehicles and other pollutants take longer to evaporate and stays longer at the ground level.