EMB: Air quality in Davao City remains fair

Sep. 20, 2019

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The air quality in the city remains in the good to fair level but people with respiratory problems are advised to take precautionary measures, an official from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) Davao Region said.

According to their report, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Davao City is determined in two monitoring stations. In Davao International Airport, the AQI is still within the 0-54 index value which is in the Good level while in Calinan National High School, it is within the 55-154 index value which is in the Fair level.

“We continuously conduct monitoring of the air quality index but last Saturday, September 14, we noted a significant increase of the level of pollutants,” said Melvin Dapitanon, Engineer III of DENR EMB XI.

On Monday, September 16, a photo from EMB-Davao showed thick haze that covered the atmosphere of a portion in Calinan District here.

Last September 17, the DENR-EMB noted that the Davao City AQI in the Calinan National High School Monitoring Station is at 47 micro gram per normal cubic meter.

Dapitanon also clarified that the said AQI is still within the standard 50 micro gram per normal cubic meter. On Wednesday, September 18, he reported that the record dropped to 39 micro gram per normal cubic meter.

According to Dapitanon, they are conducting regular monitoring within a 24-hour period. However, they could not yet declare if the increase in particulate matter is caused by the Indonesian forest fires.

“We still could not determine if the increase of particulate matter is caused by the Indonesian forest fires. We still need to submit the filters to analyze the source of the emission, either from the industry, biomass burning or the Indon fires,” Dapitanon said.

Meanwhile, he advised people with respiratory problems to take preventive measures.

“Even if our AQI still falls within the Good and Fair level, we could not say that this has no health hazards. As a precaution, people with respiratory issues must wear masks because whenever they is an increase in pollution, there is more risk for them,” said Dapitanon.

Yesterday, the Department of Health in Davao Region (DOH-11) issued an info graphic reminding the public, particularly people with respiratory problems like asthma, pneumonia, or cough to take measures against haze.

The health department also advised them to stay indoors with good ventilation, wear appropriate dust masks when going outside the house and refrain from physical activities in heavily polluted areas.

DOH-11 also reminded the public to exercise extreme caution when on the road to prevent accidents, use headlights or fog lights, follow the required minimum speed level and extreme caution in low visibility driving, ensure that vehicle is in good running condition, stay away from low-lying areas where smoke and suspended particles may settle and tune in to the radio or television for more health advisories.

It added that it is good to consult a doctor if there is difficulty in breathing, cough, chest pain, increased tearing of the eyes, and nose or throat irritation. (davaotoday.com)

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