New Year air pollution level in Metro Manila drops: DENR


Posted at Jan 03 2018 05:24 PM | Updated as of Jan 03 2018 05:25 PM

The Metro Manila skyline is covered in smog early morning of New Year’s Day, 2018. The Duterte administration, hoping to address pollution and promote safety, had banned fireworks in households, allowing only community fireworks displays. George Calvelo, ABS CBN News

MANILA - The level of air pollution in Metro Manila in the early hours of 2018 went down compared to last year, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Air quality monitoring stations in various parts of Metro Manila monitored decreases in the concentration level of "particulate matter," an air pollutant that may affect the people's health when it goes way beyond the 50-micrograms per cubic meter safe level.

Along Taft Avenue in Manila City, 183 micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter was recorded at around midnight. This is lower than last year's 448 micrograms per cubic meter at midnight. 

Meanwhile, 73 and 71 micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter were recorded in Parañaque and Navotas, respectively, significantly lower than the recorded 433 and 454 micrograms per cubic meter in 2017.

The DENR monitored the highest level of pollution at 1,058 micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter in Caloocan. However, no data is available on the level of pollution in Caloocan City last year because the air quality monitoring station there is new.

Jerry Capulong, officer-in-charge of DENR's air quality management section, said there were lower levels of air pollution in Metro Manila this year because fewer people used firecrackers as the government limited the use of pyrotechnics to firecracker zones. 

Despite the drop in air pollution levels, pulmonologist Dr. Maricar Limpin warned that firecrackers contain chemicals like lead, aluminum, and cadmium that may cause lung diseases, or even cancer.

--report from Apples Jalandoni, ABS-CBN News