The head of an environmental group has urged the health and education departments to consider issuing gas masks free to students to protect them from air pollution.
Joey Papa, president of Bangon Kalikasan Movement, said in a statement that employers should also provide the same to their workers not only in Metro Manila but also in other urban areas in the country.
Respiratory diseases, Papa added, are among the leading causes of illnesses leading to absences in school and work places. Lead, among the heavy metals contained in emissions from smoke-belching vehicles, affect brain development especially among the young.
“We are suggesting gas masks because simple handkerchiefs or surgical masks are no longer effective. A thick layer of protection is necessary to prevent the carbon dioxide from being inhaled,”