Chile has eight of the 10 South American cities with the worst air qualityaccording to figures from 2017 to 2021 prepared by the Swiss company IQ Air, an expert in this field.
Among the Chilean cities that appear in the list are Angol, Coyhaique, Padre de las Casas, Coronel, Temuco, Traigue, Nacimiento and Santiago.
Globally, the top five most polluted countries in 2021 were Bangladesh, Chad, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and India; while by capital New Delhi (India) is the most polluted for the fourth consecutive year followed by Dhaka (Bangladesh), N’Djamena (Chad), Dushanbe (Tajikistan) and Muscat (Oman).
Of the countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Chile is the third member with highest annual average concentration of particulate matter (PM) 2.5.
Given this context, we leave you below the status of air quality this May 15, 2022 in Cerro Navia:
Alert (PM 2.5 95 µg∕m3)ICAP 250
Regular (MP 10 178 µg∕m3N) ICAP 162
Good (Nitrogen Dioxide 31.92 ppbv)
Good (Carbon Monoxide 4.67 ppmv)
Good (Ozone 1 ppbv)
Restrictions in “good” state
Heating: Prohibition of the use of wood heaters (except pellets) in the province of Santiago and the communes of San Bernardo and Puente Alto.
Control of visible smoke to heaters.
Car: permanent restriction to vehicles without a green seal inside the Américo Vespucio Ring and four-digit restriction outside the Américo Vespucio Ring, from Monday to Friday.
Permanent restriction to vehicles with a green seal (two digits), registered before September 1, 2011, from Monday to Friday.
motorcycles: permanent restriction to motorcycles (two digits), registered before September 1, 2010, from Monday to Friday.
trucks: restriction to freight transport, without green seal, four digits, from Monday to Friday.
Fixed Sources: does not apply.
dry firewood: prohibition of agricultural burning in the entire metropolitan region, between March 15 and September 30.
Physical activity: does not apply.
Air Quality Index referred to Particles (ICAP) according to DS Nº 59/1998 of the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic (MINSEGPRES) that establishes the Primary Quality Standard for Respirable Particulate Material MP10 and especially the levels that define situations Environmental Emergency.
Good: 0 – 99
Regular: 100 – 199
Alert: 200 – 299
Pre-emergency: 300 – 499
Emergency: 500 – higher
PM10 or coarse particles, also known as inhalable particles, are particles smaller than 10 micrometers but larger than 2.5 micrometers in diameter that are found in the air and are generated by mobile or stationary sources, naturally or anthropogenicly, generally associated with to uncontrolled combustion and combustion processes in vehicles, foundry industries, paints, ceramics and power plants.
On pre-emergency and environmental emergency days, the use of masks is recommended for older adults, children, pregnant women and the chronically ill.
Prefer public transportation and/or carpooling.
Keep vehicles updated with gas checks and change engine oil before it expires.
Do not smoke inside the house, workplace or study.
When purchasing a heater, make sure it is certified for emissions, energy efficiency, and safety.
Do not burn leaves or garbage.
Report those who do not respect the measures adopted for alert, pre-emergency and emergency days.
Carry out maintenance on the heaters with the periodicity indicated by the manufacturer.
Proper use of heaters
Always use dry firewood (less than 25% humidity), distributed by established merchants.
Always use chopped firewood, do not burn whole logs.
In wood heaters, start the fire only with paper and dry chips.
In wood-fired heaters, keep the flue completely open for at least 10 minutes after starting the fire or reloading the wood.
Constantly check the smoke outlet through the barrel of your heater or wood stove. If visible, open your heater flue to keep a flame alive. Never completely close the draft of your heater.
Prevent a layer of creosote and soot from forming on your barrel, as this increases the risk of ignition, decreases heating capacity and your stove pollutes more.
If possible, replace the old heater with one with lower emissions and higher efficiency.
Favor the use of alternative fuels such as: gas, electricity, briquettes, petroleum derivatives, pellets, among others.
All firewood merchants must have a municipal patent, tax and forestry documentation, which proves the legal origin of the firewood.
Demand your ticket when buying firewood. With it you can assert your right as a consumer to exchange the product or refund the money if you are not satisfied with the purchase.
Note and image source: Narrative