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Lower air pollution recorded in Metro Manila on New Year’s Day

/ 04:38 AM January 04, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has recorded lesser air pollution in the first few hours of 2021 in Metro Manila, compared to levels recorded last year.

The environment agency cited the implementation of a firecracker ban in Metro Manila amid the new coronavirus pandemic, as well as the implementation of the use of community fireworks displays under Executive Order No. 28, which has been in effect since 2017.

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Data from the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) showed an average concentration of 87 micrograms per normal cubic meter (ug/Ncm) of particulate matter (PM) 10 from six air quality monitoring stations across six cities in the first few hours of 2021.

This represented a drop of 59 percent compared with data recorded on Jan. 1, 2020.

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Particulate matter is a mix of extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air, which can be hazardous to human health once inhaled.

The DENR said the highest percentage drop was recorded in Navotas, followed by Pasig, Taguig and Marikina cities.

Only the monitoring station in Parañaque City showed an increase from 62 to 75 ug/Ncm.

Under the National Ambient Air Quality Guideline Value, the short-term limit for PM10 is 150 ug/Ncm.

EMB, however, reported higher levels of PM2.5—a smaller and deadlier pollutant—from its Manila air quality monitoring station, which reached a high of 93.5 ug/Ncm around 1 a.m. of Jan. 1. Two hours earlier, its levels were recorded at 40.9 ug/Ncm.

The short-term limit for this pollutant is 35 ug/Ncm.

Despite stricter regulations on fireworks and firecracker use, especially amid the community quarantine, booms and explosions still rang in the air at the start of the new year.

Last year, hazardous and polluted air engulfed cities in Metro Manila on the first day, with dangerously high concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 in the air. INQ

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, DENR, Metro Manila air polution
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