|1||Puerto Montt, Los Lagos|
|6||Puerto Varas, Los Lagos|
|7||La Union, Los Rios|
|8||Puerto Aysen, Aisen|
|10||La Greda, Valparaiso|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
12:12, Oct 17
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Good|| 17 US AQI||PM10|
|PM10|| 19 µg/m³|
|Open your windows to bring clean, fresh air indoors|
|Enjoy outdoor activities|
Good 17 US AQI
|Sunday, Oct 17|
Good 15 US AQI
|Monday, Oct 18|
Good 18 US AQI
|Tuesday, Oct 19|
Good 35 US AQI
|Wednesday, Oct 20|
Good 23 US AQI
|Thursday, Oct 21|
Good 19 US AQI
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Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Bío Bío, in the commune of the same name, in Bío Bío, in the centre-south of Chile. According to a census conducted in 2012, Los Ángeles has an estimated population of approximately 187,000 people. It is located between the two rivers of the Laja and the Biobio Rivers some 100 kilometres east of the Antuco volcano which is a popular tourist attraction and can be found in the Laguna del Laja National Park.
At the beginning of September 2021, Los Ángeles was enjoying a period of “Good” air quality with a US AQI reading of 41. This United States Air Quality Index figure is calculated by measuring the levels of six of the most prolific air pollutants. It is then used as a metric when comparing air pollution in other cities. Sometimes records are non-existent for all six pollutants so the level is calculated by using what figures are available.
For Los Ángeles, the recorded figures were for PM2.5 and PM10 which was recorded as being 139 µg/m³ for PM2.5 and 45 µg/m³ for PM10. This level is over fourteen times higher than 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 the level of air pollution of this size, the advice would be to stay indoors and close windows and doors to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Those who are sensitive to poor quality air should avoid unnecessary outdoor journeys. If this is unavoidable, then a good quality particle filtering mask should be worn at all times. The table that is published at the top of this page should help with that decision or download the AirVisual app for constant updates on your mobile device as to the state of the air in real-time.
Air quality can be very volatile as it depends on many meteorological variables so it should come as no surprise that the quality of air changes throughout the year, depending on weather conditions.
Looking back at the 2020 figures released by IQAir.com, it can easily be seen that from April until the end of September Los Ángeles was experiencing a period of “Moderate” air quality with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The worst month being May with a figure of 31.3 µg/m³. March and October saw “Good” air quality with figures of 10.2 and 10.5 µg/m³ respectively. The remaining four months of November, December, January and February achieved the target figure as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This figure is 10 µg/m³ or less. The best month for air quality was December with a reading of just 5.5 µg/m³.
Historically, records pertaining to air quality have been kept since 2017 when the average annual figure was recorded as being 24.1 µg/m³. A slight improvement was noted for the next two consecutive years with 21.6 µg/m³ in 2018 and 21.7 µg/m³ in 2019. 2020 saw another improvement with a figure of 17.0 µg/m³. This latest figure could be skewed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to various periods of “lockdown”, many vehicles were no longer used on a daily basis as their drivers were not required to drive to the office. This cut a considerable amount of pollution from the city air. Some factories and small production units were also temporarily closed so their emissions were no longer present in the atmosphere, too.
As the weather gets colder, the inhabitants have had no choice but to use more heating, one of the favourites being firewood, whose misuse has made it the main source of pollution within the Bío Bío Region. A lot of the wood that is burnt is not sufficiently dry which causes incomplete combustion which, in turn, produces a much higher volume of Particulate Matter. Chronic exposure increases the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and lung cancer, as is the case of workers who are exposed to the smoke or sources of contamination.
From the Municipality of Los Ángeles they assured that 97% of air pollution comes from the excessive use of home heating in the province of Bío Bío. This was verified by an annual report prepared by the Swiss company IQAir, positioning the city as the leader at the regional level, followed by Curanilahue, Talcahuano, Concepción and Coronel.
Cars and similar vehicles are the largest sources of nitrogen oxide emissions which is approximately 31.47 per cent.
In early September 2021, certain guidelines were issued in an attempt to reduce air pollution in Los Ángeles. The use of open hearth fireplaces is prohibited. This means those that are built in masonry, stone, metal or other material and that do not have a door or lock across the combustion chamber. The burning of any type of charcoal (mineral or vegetable), impregnated wood, waste or any element other than firewood, briquettes or wood pellets is prohibited in wood-burning stoves and similar appliances. Burning of tyres, dry leaves, branches and/or all kinds of waste in the open air, on public roads or private areas is also prohibited.
Each year, hundreds of millions of people suffer from respiratory and other diseases associated with air pollution, both indoors and outdoors. There are population groups exposed to fixed sources of atmospheric pollutants that lack sanitary protection zones; Industries that have low-height chimneys, which increases the polluting action of their emanations, and in many cases do not have control measures to reduce air pollution.
Several elements are considered to be air pollutants because they do not naturally exist in the air or not at such a concentration, and they are harmful to health. These are gases, often invisible, such as carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and sulphur (SO2) or even ozone (O3). There are also solid particles, more or less fine. They give their consistency and colour to the smoke. These dusts are of mineral, metallic or organic origin.