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|4||Santiago, Santiago Metropolitan|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
2:01, Dec 7
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 58* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Quilicura is currently 3.1 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Moderate 58 AQI US
|Friday, Dec 8|
Moderate 67 AQI US
|Saturday, Dec 9|
Moderate 53 AQI US
|Sunday, Dec 10|
Moderate 60 AQI US
|Monday, Dec 11|
Moderate 81 AQI US
|Tuesday, Dec 12|
Moderate 77 AQI US
|Wednesday, Dec 13|
Moderate 57 AQI US
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Quilicura is a commune of Chile located in the capital of Santiago. It was originally a satellite city on the outskirts of the capital but soon became engulfed as more and more people moved there from the countryside looking for work. According to a census conducted in 2002, Quilicura had an estimated population of 126,518 inhabitants. Due to the continuing expansion, a preliminary 2012 census increased the estimation to 204,000 residents and growing.
Towards the middle of 2021, Quilicura was experiencing a period of “Moderate” air quality with a US AQI reading of 82. This United States Air Quality Index number is an internationally used set of metrics supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is used to compare the air quality in different cities throughout the world using comparable standards. It is calculated by using the levels of the six most commonly found pollutants. If figures are not all available, the figure is calculated using what information there is. There was only one pollutant measured in Quilicura which was PM2.5 which was measured as being 27 µg/m³. This figure can be seen to be almost three times in excess of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommended level of 10 µg/m³.
With a level such as this, the advice is to close doors and windows to prevent more dirty air from entering the room. Those of a sensitive disposition are advised to remain indoors or if travel outside is unavoidable, then a good quality mask is recommended. The table at the top of this page will help with that decision.
Air pollution can be very volatile and, as such, can change very quickly depending on many variables, such as wind speed and direction and the strength of sunlight.
Looking back at the figures published by the Swiss air monitoring company IQAir.com for 2020 it can be seen that the best quality of air was in December when the air quality level was classified as being “Good” with a reading of 11.9 µg/m³. The worst month for poor air was in July when it was “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with a figure of 40.7 µg/m³. For the remaining 10 months of the year the air quality was “Moderate” with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. Air quality records were first kept in 2019 when an annual average figure of 25.3 µg/m³ was recorded. The following year showed a slight improvement with a figure of 22.3 µg/m³. However, this may not be a true reflection of reality because of the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many vehicles were no longer used as the drivers were furloughed and not required to commute to and from work. There were also many factories and other non-essential production units which were temporarily closed in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
The communes of Las Condes, Cerro Navia and Independencia had one of the largest reductions in particulate matter in recent weeks compared to the same period in 2019. According to experts, this shows that transport is the main responsible for poor air quality.
According to an analysis of the monitoring stations of the capital, the reduction of airborne particulate matter PM2.5 (one of the main responsible for poor air quality), was reduced on average by 21.6 per cent in the last two weeks, compared to the same period of 2019. While nitrogen oxide (NOx), which is one of the most relevant greenhouse gases (GHG), did so by falling an average of 58 per cent. Both pollutants are strongly linked to transport, which is the main source of the air pollution.
Having confirmed that the main source of air pollution is directly due to vehicle emissions, the promotion of the electromobility that is being encouraged and the euro 6 standard for new vehicles are measures that will allow us to permanently lower the levels of pollution from the transportation segment.
6 out of every 10 people in Chile are exposed to higher concentrations of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, tropospheric ozone, carbon monoxide and lead. In the winter this figure worsens and the cause according to experts is clear if in Santiago the item responsible for almost half of the air pollution is firewood to the southern regions, this is the main and only source of pollution with over 90 per cent of the emissions. It is a paradox because firewood has always been used and has traditionally been the way to heat and cook but today with the increase in population and income, total emissions are unbearable.
Changing old heaters and using another type of fuel such as gas, pellets and paraffin is part of their objectives, undoubtedly, measures that mean a considerable economic cost for the most vulnerable families and that the authorities are already evaluating. Some sort of subsidy would have to be made available in order for such a move to be successful.
The main short-term effects of air pollution on health range from an increase in total mortality and due to respiratory and cardiovascular causes, to alterations in lung function and other symptoms, to an increase in the number of medical visits and hospital admissions.
The WHO assures that the presence of polluting factors in the ambient air and their inhalation doubles the risk of suffering from pneumonia, especially in childhood. An acute respiratory tract infection that is a major cause of death for part of the world's child population, for those children under 5 years of age. However, this fact does not prevent adults from being susceptible to suffering from this pathology, which can become serious and even cause death if it becomes complicated.
It is about COPD, chronic inflammatory diseases of the lungs. The person who suffers from them manifests serious difficulties in breathing, obstructing the passage of air to the lungs. Of course, with exposure to environmental pollution, suffering from diseases of this type becomes more likely.
Ischemic heart disease involves the narrowing of the arteries due to different processes, such as the accumulation of lipids in them. Exposure to polluted indoor air can lead to this disease, which kills more than a million people a year around the world.