|2||Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan|
|3||La Serena, Coquimbo|
|7||Puerto Varas, Los Lagos|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 14 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Concepcion air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Wednesday, Sep 21|
Moderate 76 US AQI
|Thursday, Sep 22|
Good 42 US AQI
|Friday, Sep 23|
Moderate 55 US AQI
|Saturday, Sep 24|
Moderate 62 US AQI
Good 14 US AQI
|Monday, Sep 26|
Good 34 US AQI
|Tuesday, Sep 27|
Moderate 51 US AQI
|Wednesday, Sep 28|
Good 33 US AQI
|Thursday, Sep 29|
Good 22 US AQI
|Friday, Sep 30|
Good 31 US AQI
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Concepción in full: Concepción de la Madre Santísima de la Luz, (translated into English is "Conception of the Blessed Mother of Light") is a city and commune in central Chile, and the geographical and demographic core of the Greater Concepción metropolitan area, one of the three major conurbations in Chile. Its location is approximately 500 kilometres south of the capital, Santiago. A census conducted in 2017 estimated the population to be approximately 225,000 people.
The level of air pollution in late August 2021 was classified as being “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with a US AQI reading of 125. This United States Air Quality Index figure is calculated by measuring the levels of six of the most prolific air pollutants. It is then used as a metric when comparing air pollution in other cities. Sometimes records are non-existent for all six pollutants so the level is calculated by using what figures are available. For Concepción, the only recorded figure was that for PM2.5 which was 45.2 µg/m³. This level is just over four and a half times higher than the recommended level of 10 µg/m³ which is the suggested maximum figure by the World Health Organisation (WHO), although no amount of air pollution is considered to be safe.
With the level of air pollution of this size, the advice would be to stay indoors and close windows and doors to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Those who are sensitive to poor quality air should avoid undue outdoor journeys. It would be beneficial to use an air purifier if one is available, but make sure the air intake is set for recirculation so that it is not sucking more dirty air in from outside. If venturing outside is unavoidable, then a good quality particle filtering mask should be worn at all times. The table that is published at the top of this page should help with that decision or download the AirVisual app for constant updates as to the state of the air in real-time.
Air quality can be very volatile and change very quickly due to many reasons. Looking back at the figures published by IQAir, it can be seen that Concepción has two basic periods of air quality. From April until the end of September, the quality was classified as being “Moderate” with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. (Together with the month of January). The other period was split into two parts as well, February and March and October until the end of December when Concepcion achieved the target figure of 10 µg/m³ or less, as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The cleanest month was in December when the figure was 6.4 µg/m³. The dirtiest was May when the recorded figure was 21.8 µg/m³. The rest of the year fell in between.
Records for air quality were first kept in 2018 when the annual average was 19.6 µg/m³, the following year showed a marked improvement with a figure of 14.9 µg/m³. In 2020, another improvement was noted with a figure of 13.0 µg/m³. This latest figure could be skewed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to various periods of “lockdown”, many vehicles were no longer used on a daily basis as their drivers were not required to drive to the office. This cut a considerable amount of pollution from the air. Some factories and small production units were also temporarily closed so their emissions were no longer present in the atmosphere.
Every year as the winter months approach, the inhabitants have had no choice but to use more heating, one of the favourites being firewood, whose misuse has made it the main source of pollution within the Bío Bío Region. Experts agree that the biggest problem with this type of heater is the use of wet wood, which, as it does not have an optimal percentage of liquid presence, causes incomplete combustion. In other words, it generates particulate matter and polluting gases into the atmosphere.
It has been suggested not to carry out activities that contribute to the increase in pollution, such as sweeping and raising dust, turning on heating sources that burn fuel such as charcoal or firewood, not roasting with charcoal, not exposing children and adults to greater sources of contamination. Restrict the use of automobiles and regulate industries or productive sources.
The health, environmental and government authorities should work to design and implement definitive and lasting measures. Work hand in hand with industries or productive sources that pollute so that they invest in free production, intensify educational campaigns from schools to universities and the population in general, to inform and educate the population that we must all work not to pollute.
District heating involves the distribution of thermal energy from a central source of heat generation to a large number of residential homes, by transporting steam or hot water through a network of insulated pipes. This would have two benefits by not releasing pollutants into the air and by providing heat to the local community, they would not need to use firewood to create their own warmth.
It has been reported that some scientific studies indicate that ultra-fine particles can be especially toxic for humans, since they are more likely to penetrate the respiratory tract and come into contact with lung tissues than larger particles. PM10 particles would be retained in the respiratory tract, producing effects at the respiratory system level. Minor particles, such as PM2.5, have the ability to pass into the bloodstream so they can potentially damage any organ or system. For example, some chemical components of the particulate matter can affect the immune system, developing allergies and inflammatory responses.
In Chile, according to WHO data, there are about 4,000 premature deaths a year. Other health effects from particulate matter are heart conditions such as irregular heartbeat, non-fatal heart attacks, severe asthma and loss of respiratory capacities, as well as irritations to the respiratory tract and cough.