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|6||Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan|
|7||Puente Alto, Santiago Metropolitan|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 97 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Temuco is currently 6.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Wednesday, Sep 27|
Moderate 53 AQI US
|Thursday, Sep 28|
Moderate 59 AQI US
|Friday, Sep 29|
Moderate 100 AQI US
Moderate 97 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 1|
Good 22 AQI US
|Monday, Oct 2|
Good 14 AQI US
|Tuesday, Oct 3|
Good 10 AQI US
|Wednesday, Oct 4|
Good 16 AQI US
|Thursday, Oct 5|
Good 7 AQI US
|Friday, Oct 6|
Good 4 AQI US
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Temuco is a city and commune, capital of the Cautín Province and of the Araucanía Region in southern Chile. It is located 670 kilometres south of the capital, Santiago. According to a 2012 census, Temuco had an estimated population of approximately 263,000 people.
In August 2021, Temuco was experiencing a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 96. This United States Air Quality Index figure is calculated by measuring the presence of the six most prolific air pollutants and calculating this figure which can then be used as a metric when comparing the air quality in different cities. The six most common air pollutants are nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and both sizes of particulate matter, being PM2.5 and PM10. If figures are not available for all six then a level is calculated by using what figures are available. In the case of Temuco, only PM2.5 was recorded as being 33.4 µg/m³. This level of PM2.5 is just over three times 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 pollution at this level, the suggested advice would be to stay indoors and close all windows and doors to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Those who are sensitive to poor quality air should avoid exercising outside until the air quality improves and if venturing outside is unavoidable, then the wearing of a good quality face mask is essential. 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 on the move.
Looking back at the figures for 2020, released by IQAir.com, it can be seen that the worst air quality was experienced in May, June and July when the classification was “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with figures between 35.5 and 55.4 µg/m³. The readings for the months of April, August, September and October could be categorised as being “Moderate” with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The remaining five months of the year achieved the target figure set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of 10 µg/m³ or less. The month to enjoy the best air quality was January with a reading of 4.6 µg/m³.
Historically, records pertaining to air pollution have been kept since 2017 when the annual average figure was 28.7 µg/m³ which would be classed as “Moderate”. A slight decline was noted in 2018 with a figure of 30.4 µg/m³. 2019 saw a large improvement to the quality of the air with a figure of 20.2 µg/m³ which was almost upheld the following year when that record was 20.6 µg/m³.
This reading may have been affected by the COVID-19 situation as many vehicles were no longer in daily use in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus. Many factories and non-essential production units were also required to close which removed their emissions from the atmosphere.
The main cause of contamination by particulate matter, both coarse and fine, in Temuco is mainly due to the use of firewood as fuel in kitchens and domestic heaters. The emissions from this source, which contributes 94 per cent of the total emissions of particulate matter, are mainly concentrated in cold months (April to August) due to the presence of fog banks, low temperatures and the absence of wind, generating episodes of high daily concentrations of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) that exceed the regulated levels. During the rest of the year, particle concentrations are low.
Due to the use of wood stoves, in winter this city exceeds the pollution levels of Beijing, Mexico City and New Delhi. Unlike these industrialized and populous cities, Temuco is home to only 263,000 people and pollution is not the result of economic activity, but of a lack of resources, which forces the vast majority of its inhabitants to depend on wood stoves to cope with low temperatures.
Some permanent restrictions have been introduced in an attempt to curtail the deteriorating air quality.
These measures apply to all of Temuco and Padre Las Casas.
More than 150 million people in Latin America live in cities that exceed the WHO Air Quality Guidelines. Exposure to high levels of air pollution can cause a variety of adverse health outcomes: it increases the risk of respiratory infections, heart disease, strokes and lung cancer, which affect the vulnerable population in a greater proportion, children, older adults and women. Air pollution in the home is associated with the use of fuels and inefficient cooking practices.
The particulate matter (PM) is the term used for the mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets float in the air, forming what is known as an atmospheric aerosol. Some are larger and can be seen with the naked eye (dust, soot, smoke), but there are other smaller ones that we can only visualize with a powerful microscope.
These particles are divided into two groups: PM10, inhalable, with a diameter of 10 micrometres or less; and PM2.5, also inhalable but finer and with diameters of 2.5 micrometres and less. If we take a human hair (70 microns in diameter) as a reference, it is about 30 times larger than the largest fine particle.
PM comes in different sizes and shapes and contains hundreds of different chemical compounds. Some are emitted from sources such as construction sites, unpaved roads, smokestacks or fires, although most are formed in the atmosphere as a result of chemical reactions such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, material generated by power plants, industries and automobiles.