Air quality in Baguio

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Baguio

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Weather

What is the current weather in Baguio?

Weather icon
WeatherBroken clouds
Temperature62.6°F
Humidity94%
Wind2.1 mp/h
Pressure29.9 Hg

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#cityUS AQI
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25

(local time)

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US AQI

56*

live AQI index
Moderate

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Overview

What is the current air quality in Baguio?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Moderate 56* US AQIPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
11.8*µg/m³
!

PM2.5

x2.4

PM2.5 concentration in Baguio is currently 2.4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value

Health Recommendations

What is the current air quality in Baguio?

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Forecast

Baguio air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Today

Moderate 56 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
71.6° 60.8°
Wind rotating 96 degree 4.5 mp/h
Sunday, Jul 21

Moderate 55 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
68° 60.8°
Wind rotating 229 degree 2.2 mp/h
Monday, Jul 22

Moderate 56 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
62.6° 59°
Wind rotating 317 degree 2.2 mp/h
Tuesday, Jul 23

Moderate 56 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
60.8° 59°
Wind rotating 254 degree 6.7 mp/h
Wednesday, Jul 24

Moderate 61 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
60.8° 60.8°
Wind rotating 257 degree 6.7 mp/h
Thursday, Jul 25

Moderate 62 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
62.6° 60.8°
Wind rotating 254 degree 4.5 mp/h
Friday, Jul 26

Moderate 61 AQI US

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon 100%
66.2° 60.8°
Wind rotating 243 degree 4.5 mp/h

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AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Baguio

What is the air quality index of Baguio?

Baguio is also officially known as the City of Baguio and is located on the northern island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is fondly known as “The City of Pines” due to the plethora of pine trees which grow readily at its high elevation of 1,470 meters above sea level.

At the start of 2021, Baguio was experiencing a period of “Moderate” quality air with a US AQI reading of 57. This classification follows the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Where does the air pollution in Baguio originate?

Air pollution can be defined as the presence of harmful chemicals in the air we breathe. These are chemicals that can impede good health. Such chemicals are products of numerous anthropogenic activities, such as fuel combustion from vehicles, heat and power generation due to oil and coal power stations, smoke from factories and mines, waste incineration, and even the simple act of cooking food at home. These pollutants come in various forms. The largest group is called particulate matter or PM, which includes particles that comprise sulphates, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, black carbon, mineral dust, and even water. The sizes of these pollutants are measured in microns which can be up to 30 times thinner than a strand of human hair.

Another pollutant is ground-level ozone (O3), a major product of photochemical smog. This phenomenon can be observed in China, where cities are engulfed by thick smoke consisting of particulate matter, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These components react with each other and sunlight to produce ozone, which can exacerbate asthma and lead to reduced lung function and other respiratory diseases.

Carbon monoxide (CO), is another one of the main ingredients of photochemical smog. It is mostly produced from the exhausts of motor engines and machinery that burn fossil fuels. An increased concentration of this compound in the body can damage the body’s ability to carry oxygen to its different parts, which is critical for all organs. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), another component of smog, comes from emissions from power and industrial generation. The WHO states that when introduced independently into the body, it can aggravate symptoms of asthma and bronchitis, which may escalate to respiratory infections.

The World Health Organisation estimates that reducing the amount of particulate matter PM10 to 20 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3) annually would subsequently decrease air pollution-related mortality rates by approximately15 per cent.

For the microscopic variant, PM2.5, they suggested a standard of 10 μg/m3 per annum. In the case of other pollutants, ozone (O3) has a safety level of 100 μg/m3 for an 8-hour average, while carbon dioxide (NO2) has a safety level of 40 μg/m3 (annual mean).

What is the main source of air pollution in Baguio?

The main source of pollution seems to be coming from vehicular exhausts. Over a period of time, Baguio’s image was tainted by worsening traffic and pollution. Motor vehicles, whether parked or not, occupied much of the road space. Pavements were narrowed or eliminated in order to widen the roads to create more lanes for cars.

Baguio became notorious for gridlock, especially during the holidays when thousands of cars would ascend from the lowlands. Because of this, the stench of vehicle exhaust replaced Baguio’s pine-scented air.

What can be done to improve the air quality in Baguio?

Following a report by the World Health Organisation which stated that Baguio City was one of the most polluted cities in the Philippines, the local government had to put out a corrective statement saying that the WHO data was taken in 2013 and that the quality of air had improved since then.

The city was recently chosen as one of the pilot areas for Clean Air Certification, international recognition of ‘innovative and impactful, voluntary action towards better air quality’ given by the Clean Cities Air Partnership Program (CCAP) through the Clean Air Asia. Baguio will join three other Philippine cities, Iloilo City and Sta. Rosa in Laguna, and two cities in Southeast Asia, Malang in Indonesia and Kathmandu in Nepal as pilot areas for the certification process before it will be opened to wider participation.

The city will be investing in air-quality monitoring stations, measuring not only large particulates such as PM10 but also the finer but more harmful particles of PM2.5. With meaningful data, it is hoped to raise awareness and engage citizens in the fight for clean air.

The local government spoke of the priority it would give to expanding and modernising public transport, replacing old, polluting jeepneys with modern, low-emission vehicles. To make public transport more accessible, the local authority plans to build five public transport terminals in different parts of the city. The city would also establish an integrated command centre for “smart” traffic management and operations coordination during emergencies and disasters. In addition, the city is studying the viability of cable car and monorail systems for mass transit.

A major tree-planting program is underway to replace some of those lost to modernisation. They intend to use the latest methods of husbandry to ensure a larger percentage of successful seedling growth.

What are the effects of breathing Baguio’s poor quality air?

Of course, not everybody is affected by poor quality air in the same way. It depends on many variants. The actual risk of adverse effects depends on your current health status, the pollutant type and concentration, and the length of your exposure to the polluted air. Even young, strong healthy people can be adversely affected.

Very high levels of air pollution can cause immediate health problems which may include intensified cardiovascular and respiratory illness. The heart and lungs are subject to greater levels of stress because they have to work harder as they struggle to supply the body with the desired amount of oxygen. Even a relatively short time of exposure can lead to irreparable damage to the respiratory system.

Long-term exposure can lead to permanent damage such as the accelerated ageing of the lungs together with the loss of lung capacity and decreased lung function. It can even shorten the life-span.

Some people are more susceptible to poor air quality than others. Pregnant women, children under the age of 14 years and senior citizens should take extra care as should those whose job dictates that they spend their working time outdoors.

Where is the cleanest air quality in Baguio?

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