|5||Puerto Varas, Los Lagos|
|6||Puerto Montt, Los Lagos|
|9||La Union, Los Rios|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 5 US AQI||NO2|
|NO2|| 28.1 µg/m³|
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Tuesday, Oct 12|
Moderate 63 US AQI
|Wednesday, Oct 13|
Moderate 68 US AQI
|Thursday, Oct 14|
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 137 US AQI
|Friday, Oct 15|
Unhealthy 178 US AQI
Good 5 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 17|
Good 13 US AQI
|Monday, Oct 18|
Good 16 US AQI
|Tuesday, Oct 19|
Good 13 US AQI
|Wednesday, Oct 20|
Good 15 US AQI
|Thursday, Oct 21|
Good 14 US AQI
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Padre Las Casas is a landlocked city, located in Cautín province in the Araucania region of Chile, one of sixteen different regions within the country. Padre Las Casas is home to some 72,800 inhabitants, as per a census taken in 2012, a number that will surely have grown since then based off of the data collected between the early 90’s up to the early 2000’s, recording a large increase in the population size.
Regarding its air pollution levels, Padre Las Casas has seen some poor air quality in times past, coming in with months that show massive elevations in their PM2.5 readings. PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or less in diameter (making it roughly 30% the diameter of a human hair), having the potential to go down to sizes many microns smaller. Due to this property, combined with the array of dangerous materials it can be comprised of, PM2.5 is considered as one of the most hazardous pollutants that can be found in the air. As such, it is also used as a prominent measure of air pollution, as will be referenced numerous times throughout the article, along with the other main measure of air pollution, that of US AQI.
In June of 2021, Padre Las Casas came in with a US AQI reading of just 2, indicating an extremely clean quality of air. This reading would fall into the absolute lower end of the ‘good’ air quality ratings bracket, which requires a US AQI reading of anywhere between 0 to 50 to be classified as such, color coded as green and being the most optimal classification that can be achieved.
During times such as these, the air would pose no problems for the general public, and even vulnerable or sensitive individuals would be able to walk about freely or partake in strenuous outdoor exercise without exhibiting any negative symptoms. However, this reading of only 2 was more of an exception, showing that Padre Las Casas is a city in which the air quality can drop to extremely good levels of cleanliness, only to spike back up to numbers that would cause severe issues even amongst the healthiest members of the population.
To cite other US AQI readings on record, figures such as 65 and 83 showed up in late May of 2021, indicating a ‘moderate’ quality of air, color coded as yellow (for ease of reference and navigation when using any of the air quality maps or graphs found throughout the IQAir website), and requiring a reading of anywhere between 51 to 100 to be classified as such. Higher pollution readings of 135 and 148 were also taken, going up even further to the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket (color coded as orange and requiring a reading of 101 to 150). It is at these levels where the general public may start to experience adverse effects, along with vulnerable individuals having visible signs of respiratory distress.
Higher readings of 189 and 197 were also recorded, placing it in the red colored ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket, which indicates a level where the air quality starts to become outright dangerous for the entire population. Even higher US AQI readings of 216 and 220 were taken, indicating a ‘very unhealthy’ air quality level, color coded as purple and requiring many people to take serious precautions to shield themselves from polluted air at such times. In closing, it is clear that Padre Las Casas is a city that is subject to some severe levels of sporadic air pollution, and could do much to improve in the future.
The main causes of polluted air in Padre Las Casas include ones such as emissions from vehicles, with many cars and freight vehicles such as lorries and trucks giving out large amounts of chemical contaminants and fine particles, with even the tire treads giving off many tons of microscopic rubber particles that can permeate the environment, causing damage to both wildlife and human health.
Other causes would be emissions from power plants and factories, running on coal and other fossil fuels such as diesel and natural gas. However, one of the most prominent issues that occurs in Padre Las Casas and indeed much of chile is the burning of organic matter in many fireplaces and stoves, particularly in more traditional homes or in lower income districts. The prevalence of this leads to huge amounts of harmful chemicals released into the atmosphere, with far reaching problems and many premature deaths as a result.
As mentioned above, many cases of premature death or terminal conditions can be directly linked to air pollution exposure. To mention some other conditions by name, ailments that fall under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) bracket would appear, with ones such as pneumonia and bronchitis being part of the COPD collective.
Chest pain and infections, along with skin conditions and cancer would present themselves. Rates of heart attacks would go up by a considerable amount, along with other serious conditions such as arrythmias, ischemic heart disease and strokes.
Looking at the data gathered over the course of 2020, one can see the entire year and its PM2.5 monthly averages (along with the yearly average, which came in at 28.6 μg/m³, placing Padre Las Casas in 433rd place out of all cities ranked worldwide in 2020).
The months that showed the highest levels of air pollution were April through to October, indicating the mid-months of the year had the poorest air quality. Out of all of these months, May, July and August had the highest readings, coming in at 60 μg/m³, 57.6 μg/m³ and 51.9 μg/m³ respectively, making May and July the only two months out of the year to achieve the ‘unhealthy’ air quality rating, as per the PM2.5 ratings system, which requires a reading of 55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such.
Whilst there is a poor level of pollution present in Padre Las Casas, the months of January through to March, as well as December of 2020 all fell within the world health organization's (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less, for the best quality of air.
Out of all of these months, January had the best level of air quality with a very clean reading of 5.9 μg/m³, indicating a month in which the level of smoke, haze and smog would be significantly more absent than the later months of the year.