|5||Padre las Casas, Araucania|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 37 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Nacimiento is currently 1.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
|Saturday, Oct 1|
Moderate 63 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 2|
Moderate 57 US AQI
|Monday, Oct 3|
Moderate 55 US AQI
Good 37 US AQI
|Wednesday, Oct 5|
Good 16 US AQI
|Thursday, Oct 6|
Good 20 US AQI
|Friday, Oct 7|
Good 6 US AQI
|Saturday, Oct 8|
Good 7 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 9|
Good 26 US AQI
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Nacimiento is a Chilean city situated in the Bío Bío Province in Chile. It is located 550 kilometres south of Santiago, which is the country’s capital city. According to the 2002 census of the National Statistics Institute, Nacimiento had an estimated population of approximately 26,000 inhabitants. There are several rivers in the surrounding area, the two largest being the Bio Bio and the Vergara Rivers.
At the end of May 2021, Nacimiento was enjoying a period of “Good” quality air with a US AQI reading of just 13. This United States Air Quality Index figure is a globally used set of metrics that is used to determine the level of air quality at any given time. It is used to compare several cities, even when they are in different countries. The number is calculated by measuring up to six of the commonly occurring pollutants in the air. However, sometimes they are not always available and the figure has to be calculated using what records there are. For instance, in Nacimiento, the only figure available was for PM2.5 which was 3.1 µg/m³. At this relatively low risk level, doors and windows can safely be opened to allow fresh air to enter the rooms. Needless to say, all types of outdoor activity may be enjoyed without fear.
Air quality is affected by many things and therefore can change rapidly.
We can look at the figures for 2020 published by the Swiss company IQAir.com to see how it varies throughout the year. Remember that as Chile is in the southern hemisphere the seasons will be opposite to what is usually experienced in the northern hemisphere.
During the months of November, December and January, Nacimiento achieved the target set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of recorded figures less than 10 µg/m³. February and March saw “Good” air quality with figures between 10 and 12 µg/m³. April, August and October saw the quality slip into the “Moderate” category with readings between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. For the two months of May and September, the quality slipped into the “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” category with readings between 35.5 and 55.4 µg/m³.
The average figure for 2020 was 27.3 µg/m³ but it could be artificially lower than usual because of the restrictions brought into force due to the COVID-19 pandemic when the use of private vehicles was mainly prohibited because their drivers were furloughed and not required to commute each day and many manufacturing plants were told to cease production until further notice.
Air pollution affects the health of people and animals, damages vegetation and soil, deteriorates materials, reduces visibility, and has the potential to contribute significantly to climate change. In Chile, there are three major polluting activities, at the national level the use of firewood for heating (32.7 per cent), transportation (30.5 per cent) and industries (28.1 per cent) stand out as the most significant. Regional difference occurs due to geographical location because traffic is more of a pollutant in big cities than in rural areas.
In the second National Environmental Survey, carried out by the Ministry of the Environment and released early last year, they found that air pollution is consolidated as the main environmental problem for Chileans (33 per cent), followed by garbage and dirt in the streets (19 per cent) and in third place general pollution and cars that generate noise, pollution or traffic jams.
After denouncing various episodes of contamination by sulphur emanations by a prominent local company, dedicated to the production and commercialisation of wood and derivatives, residents of the Nacimiento (Biobío) commune presented a protection appeal in order to safeguard their right to live in a pollution-free environment.
In this context, the National Institute of Human Rights (INDH) presented a report on law - known as amicus curiae - to publicise the main legal arguments, from the point of view of human rights, for the protection of the right to live in a pollution-free environment of those who reside in the aforementioned commune.
Premature birth, or when a child is born before the 37th week of gestation, is the number one killer of babies in South America. When children are born prematurely, they are more likely to suffer from complications in the short term (for example, difficulties in breathing and feeding) and also in the long term. As the brain is the last major organ to mature in human development, premature babies can suffer from long-term cognitive problems such as cerebral palsy, social and behavioural problems, learning disabilities, as well as an increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, later in life. These problems contribute to a measurable financial burden on medical, educational, and social service interventions.
One environmental risk factor is air pollution; specifically, the mix of air pollutants named for their small size: particulate matter 2.5 microns in diameter or less (PM2.5). For reference, the diameter of an average human hair is around 50 microns. These particles come from burning fuels, such as in vehicle engines, forest fires, and power generation. When inhaled, their small size allows them to lodge in the lungs or even enter the bloodstream. We are still learning about the health impacts of these particles on our bodies, but laboratory studies have shown different ways that PM2.5 could be linked to premature birth.
According to a study published in the European Respiratory Journal, the chances of developing eczema and asthma in adolescence are higher if the individual was exposed to high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at birth.
Of the children involved in the study, 28.5 per cent had asthma and 74.5 per cent had eczema. The study revealed that people who were exposed to higher levels of NO2 at birth developed a 17 per cent increased risk of developing asthma and an 8 per cent increased risk of developing eczema.