Monday, 3 October 2011

September 28, Global report: Auckland's air quality worse than Sydney

In a recent World Health Organisation report on air quality, many New Zealanders were shocked to learn that Auckland’s air quality, measured as a particulate matter rating, was found to be 15pm compared to 12pm in Sydney, 13pm in Port Phillip Bay (Melbourne); cities with much larger populations. Around 20om is thought to be significantly dangerous.

To put these figures in an international perspective, New York rates at 25pm, London at 29pm, Dhaka in Bangledesh at 134 and Iran’s Ahwaz at 372pm. Globally, poor air quality is a major cause of loss of human an non-human life.

The “WHO estimates more than 2 million people die every year from breathing in tiny particles present in indoor and outdoor air pollution. PM10 particles, which are particles of 10 micrometers or less, which can penetrate into the lungs and may enter the bloodstream, can cause heart disease, lung cancer, asthma, and acute lower respiratory infections. The WHO air quality guidelines for PM10 is 20 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) as an annual average, but the data released today shows that average PM10 in some cities has reached up to 300 µg/m3.”


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