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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 17 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Makati air currently meets the WHO annual air quality guideline value
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|Saturday, Sep 23|
Moderate 59 AQI US
|Sunday, Sep 24|
Moderate 72 AQI US
|Monday, Sep 25|
Moderate 64 AQI US
Good 17 AQI US
|Wednesday, Sep 27|
Moderate 54 AQI US
|Thursday, Sep 28|
Good 44 AQI US
|Friday, Sep 29|
Good 34 AQI US
|Saturday, Sep 30|
Good 48 AQI US
|Sunday, Oct 1|
Moderate 55 AQI US
|Monday, Oct 2|
Good 46 AQI US
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Makati is a city found in the metropolitan area of Manila, which in of itself contains 16 cities, one of which is the capital city of Manila, as well as Makati city. The Philippines is comprised of over 7,500 different islands, which are then generally classed into the three different groups of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, with the two aforementioned cities falling into the Luzon group. Makati is known as a first class highly urbanized city, with a huge concentration of multinational corporations located within it, as well as being the financial hub of the country. It is also known as being a prominent cultural and entertainment center, and as such, draws a large amount of people in to the city for both work and leisure reasons, causing problems to the air quality due to the massive amount of human movement involved and the subsequent pollution that comes with it.
In the early months of 2021, Makati was seen with PM2.5 readings going up as high as 34.8 μg/m³, as well as readings going down as low as 9.3 μg/m³, although as an average over the course of February readings were coming in around 20 μg/m³ and above. This would be enough to class Makati as having ‘moderate’ levels of air pollution, which require PM2.5 readings between 12.1 to 35.4 μg/m³ to be classified as such. Whilst this is not a particularly hazardous reading, considering the high population density and massive amounts of anthropogenic activity taking place (usually indicative of a considerably worse PM2.5 reading), it could still stand to improve its air quality reading if is to move closer to the World Health Organizations (WHO's) target goal of 10 μg/m³ or less, for the best quality of air. Many areas of Makati are also considered as pollution hotspots, with pockets of much higher PM2.5 readings when compared to other areas of the city.
With a population in excess of 582 thousand inhabitants (a number taken in 2015 and thus sure to have increased since then), and being counted as the 41st most densely populated city worldwide, a large amount of air pollution would arise from the mass movement of people, particularly in personal vehicles such as cars and motorbikes. It is estimated that the daytime population actually goes far in excess of the recorded number of inhabitants, with over a million or so people approximated to be within the city limits for reasons of both work and leisure.
Because of this, the sizeable amount of cars inhabiting the roads would be one of the main sources of pollution, bringing up the yearly ambient PM2.5 readings. Other sources include emissions from factories and power plants, many of which run on unclean or unsustainable fuel sources such as coal, as well as construction sites and road repairs all adding to the fine particulate matter found in the air.
Looking at some of the other cities in the Philippines recorded over the course of 2019, whilst there are a large amount of them that are still not fully recorded on the air quality database, the ones that have concise air quality readings show significant disparity between them, with some of the smaller and less inhabited island ones coming in with extremely good air quality levels (with cities such as Calamba coming in with a PM2.5 reading of 4 μg/m³) whilst others came in on the higher end of the moderately polluted bracket, with a few months even breaking up into the next pollution rating group, with the city of Meycauayan taking the top spot with a yearly average of 35.3 μg/m³.
In regards to Makati and its comparison to the other cities, it seems that it sits within the mid to higher range of cities currently on record, and whilst it certainly has its fair share of pollutive problems, there are cities with worse air quality issues present in the Philippines.
With much of the pollution stemming from causes such as vehicular use, with the aforementioned cars and motorbikes being the main offenders, alongside heavy duty vehicles such as lorries and trucks, many of which run on diesel fuels and due to their larger size and unclean fuel source, put out considerably more pollution than smaller personal vehicles often do.
Pollution that comes from vehicles includes various chemical compounds such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Whilst all of these are harmful with excessive exposure, the ones that are more prominent among them are both sulfur and nitrogen dioxide, with the latter taking the top spot in regards to vehicular emissions, often found in vast quantities over areas that see large amounts of traffic, particularly busy roads that are part of the rush hour zone. Black carbon is another dangerous contaminant released both from vehicles, as well as factories and any source of combustion.
Whilst Makati saw drastically lowered levels of pollution over the course of 2020 cue to the imposed lockdowns caused by the containment procedures of the Covid-19 virus, the air quality level quickly fell again once normal movement resumed, indicating just how much pollution is caused by vehicles and the mass movement of people in and out of the city.
Some health issues associated with those who are situated near areas of high traffic, as well as commuters themselves who are exposed on a daily basis to these notorious pollution levels, would be numerous ones such as damage or scarring to the lung tissue, leading to a reduction in full lung function and susceptibility to further respiratory issues down the line. These would include ones that fall under the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) bracket, and include within them conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema, as well as aggravated asthma attacks amongst those who have previously suffered from it (with the chance to trigger it in vulnerable people who have never suffered from it previously, with young children being the most at risk for such conditions).