Air Pollution In East Asia
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Regional cooperation to fight air pollution and improve health
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The lawyer for the defendants, who were not present in court on Thursday, declined to comment on the verdict when contacted by CNN. Before the ruling, Leonard Simanjuntak, country director for Greenpeace Indonesia and a plaintiff in the lawsuit as a private citizen, said several claimants had faced significant health problems from breathing Jakarta's "dirty air. He cited asthma, skin problems and the case of one plaintiff who developed an upper respiratory tract infection after moving to the city. The citizens claimed the government had been negligent in upholding its obligations in managing Jakarta's air pollution, and had failed to fulfill residents' right to clean air.
Choking on smog. Air pollution is often measured by the concentration of PM2. They are small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs and can cause severe health problems including lung cancer, coronary heart disease, strokes and early death. In Indonesia, the national safe standard set by the government is 15 micrograms per cubic meter. But in Jakarta, readings regularly far exceed both levels -- with an average annual PM2. Rapid urbanization and high levels of traffic congestion are the main contributors to Jakarta's poor air quality, according to a study by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air CREA. Coal-fired power plants on the city's outskirts also play a role, the study said.
Citizens challenge the government. Yuyun Ismawati, co-founder of environmental group Nexus3 Foundation, said she joined the lawsuit after becoming fed up with the city's bad air. She said her two-year-old grandson had developed symptoms of the skin condition eczema after sitting on the balcony of her family's 15th floor apartment in central Jakarta. Before the ruling, Yuyun and other campaigners said they hoped a court victory would pressure the government to to enforce national air quality standards in Jakarta.
She also said they wanted local and national governments to enforce environmental safeguards, place strict regulations on coal-powered plants, and be transparent on air pollution policies. Anglers fish amid thick haze at a coastal area in Jakarta on June 20, Simanjuntak, from Greenpeace, said it was almost impossible to avoid being affected by bad air when traveling on Jakarta's roads. Before the ruling, he said he hoped the judgment would compel the government to commit resources to making Jakarta's air more breathable. In a brief written in support of the lawsuit, United Nations special rapporteur for human rights and the environment, David R.
Boyd, said: "Air pollution is a major problem in Indonesia causing hundreds of thousands of premature deaths annually. The differences were more pronounced for subjects aged 50 to The study controlled for age and smoking habits, so concluded that air pollution was the most likely cause of the observed differences. It is believed that much like cystic fibrosis , by living in a more urban environment serious health hazards become more apparent. Studies have shown that in urban areas patients suffer mucus hypersecretion, lower levels of lung function, and more self-diagnosis of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
A review of evidence regarding whether ambient air pollution exposure is a risk factor for cancer in found solid data to conclude that long-term exposure to PM2. Exposure to PM2. The review further noted that living close to busy traffic appears to be associated with elevated risks of these three outcomes — increase in lung cancer deaths, cardiovascular deaths, and overall non-accidental deaths. The reviewers also found suggestive evidence that exposure to PM2. In , a large Danish epidemiological study found an increased risk of lung cancer for patients who lived in areas with high nitrogen oxide concentrations.
In this study, the association was higher for non-smokers than smokers. In the United States, despite the passage of the Clean Air Act in , in at least million Americans were living in non-attainment areas —regions in which the concentration of certain air pollutants exceeded federal standards. Protective measures to ensure children's health are being taken in cities such as New Delhi , India where buses now use compressed natural gas to help eliminate the "pea-soup" smog.
Prenatal exposure to polluted air has been linked to a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders in children. For example, exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAH was associated with reduced IQ scores and symptoms of anxiety and depression. In Los Angeles, children who were living in areas with high levels of traffic-related air pollution were more likely to be diagnosed with autism between years of age. Some PAHs are considered endocrine disruptors and are lipid soluble. When they build up in adipose tissue, they can be transferred across the placenta. Ambient levels of air pollution have been associated with preterm birth and low birth weight.
A WHO worldwide survey on maternal and perinatal health found a statistically significant association between low birth weights LBW and increased levels of exposure to PM2. Women in regions with greater than average PM2. A study by the University of York found that in exposure to PM2. The source of PM 2. A study performed by Wang, et al. A group of 74, pregnant women, in four separate regions of Beijing, were monitored from early pregnancy to delivery along with daily air pollution levels of sulfur Dioxide and TSP along with other particulates.
The estimated reduction in birth weight was 7. These associations were statistically significant in both summer and winter, although, summer was greater. This is the largest attributable risk ever reported for the known risk factors of low birth weight. Brauer et al. Even in areas with relatively low levels of air pollution, public health effects can be significant and costly, since a large number of people breathe in such pollutants. A study published in found that even in areas of the U. In , scientists found that the boundary layer air over the Southern Ocean around Antarctica is unpolluted by humans. Data is accumulating that air pollution exposure also affects the central nervous system. In a June study conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives , it was discovered that early exposure to air pollution causes the same damaging changes in the brain as autism and schizophrenia.
The study also shows that air pollution also affected short-term memory , learning ability, and impulsivity. Lead researcher Professor Deborah Cory-Slechta said that "When we looked closely at the ventricles , we could see that the white matter that normally surrounds them hadn't fully developed. It appears that inflammation had damaged those brain cells and prevented that region of the brain from developing, and the ventricles simply expanded to fill the space. Our findings add to the growing body of evidence that air pollution may play a role in autism , as well as in other neurodevelopmental disorders. In , experimental studies reported the detection of significant episodic situational cognitive impairment from impurities in indoor air breathed by test subjects who were not informed about changes in the air quality.
Researchers at the Harvard University and SUNY Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University measured the cognitive performance of 24 participants in three different controlled laboratory atmospheres that simulated those found in "conventional" and "green" buildings, as well as green buildings with enhanced ventilation. Performance was evaluated objectively using the widely used Strategic Management Simulation software simulation tool, which is a well-validated assessment test for executive decision-making in an unconstrained situation allowing initiative and improvisation. Significant deficits were observed in the performance scores achieved in increasing concentrations of either volatile organic compounds VOCs or carbon dioxide , while keeping other factors constant.
The highest impurity levels reached are not uncommon in some classroom or office environments. In India in , it was reported that air pollution by black carbon and ground level ozone had reduced crop yields in the most affected areas by almost half in when compared to levels. One out of ten deaths in was caused by diseases associated with air pollution and the problem is getting worse. The problem is even more acute in the developing world. Artificial air pollution may be detectable on Earth from distant vantage points such as other planetary systems via atmospheric SETI — including NO 2 pollution levels and with telescopic technology close to today.
It may also be possible to detect extraterrestrial civilizations this way. The world's worst short-term civilian pollution crisis was the Bhopal Disaster in India. In six days more than 4, died and more recent estimates put the figure at nearer 12, Various pollution control technologies and strategies are available to reduce air pollution. In most developed countries, land-use planning is an important part of social policy, ensuring that land is used efficiently for the benefit of the wider economy and population, as well as to protect the environment.
Because a large share of air pollution is caused by combustion of fossil fuels such as coal and oil , the reduction of these fuels can reduce air pollution drastically. Most effective is the switch to clean power sources such as wind power , solar power , hydro power which don't cause air pollution. Titanium dioxide has been researched for its ability to reduce air pollution. Ultraviolet light will release free electrons from material, thereby creating free radicals, which break up VOCs and NOx gases. One form is superhydrophilic. In , Prof. Tony Ryan and Prof. Simon Armitage of University of Sheffield prepared a 10 meter by 20 meter-sized poster coated with microscopic, pollution-eating nanoparticles of titanium dioxide.
Placed on a building, this giant poster can absorb the toxic emission from around 20 cars each day. A very effective means to reduce air pollution is the transition to renewable energy. There is limited evidence that efforts to reduce particulate matter in the air can result in better health in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. The following items are commonly used as pollution control devices in industry and transportation.
They can either destroy contaminants or remove them from an exhaust stream before it is emitted into the atmosphere. In general, there are two types of air quality standards. The first class of standards such as the U. Air Quality Directive set maximum atmospheric concentrations for specific pollutants. Environmental agencies enact regulations which are intended to result in attainment of these target levels.
The second class such as the North American air quality index take the form of a scale with various thresholds, which is used to communicate to the public the relative risk of outdoor activity. The scale may or may not distinguish between different pollutants. It is a health protection tool used to make decisions to reduce short-term exposure to air pollution by adjusting activity levels during increased levels of air pollution.
From air quality monitoring to health risk communication and community engagement, local partners are responsible for the vast majority of work related to AQHI implementation. Occasionally, when the amount of air pollution is abnormally high, the number may exceed The AQHI provides a local air quality current value as well as a local air quality maximums forecast for today, tonight and tomorrow and provides associated health advice. As it is now known that even low levels of air pollution can trigger discomfort for the sensitive population, the index has been developed as a continuum: The higher the number, the greater the health risk and need to take precautions. The index describes the level of health risk associated with this number as 'low', 'moderate', 'high' or 'very high', and suggests steps that can be taken to reduce exposure.
The measurement is based on the observed relationship of nitrogen dioxide NO 2 , ground-level ozone O 3 and particulates PM 2. Significantly, all three of these pollutants can pose health risks, even at low levels of exposure, especially among those with pre-existing health problems. When developing the AQHI, Health Canada's original analysis of health effects included five major air pollutants: particulates, ozone , and nitrogen dioxide NO2 , as well as sulfur dioxide SO 2 , and carbon monoxide CO. The latter two pollutants provided little information in predicting health effects and were removed from the AQHI formulation.
The AQHI does not measure the effects of odour, pollen , dust, heat or humidity. Air pollution hotspots are areas where air pollution emissions expose individuals to increased negative health effects. Emissions from these sources can cause respiratory disease , childhood asthma ,  cancer , and other health problems. Fine particulate matter such as diesel soot , which contributes to more than 3. It is very small and can lodge itself within the lungs and enter the bloodstream. Diesel soot is concentrated in densely populated areas, and one in six people in the U. While air pollution hotspots affect a variety of populations, some groups are more likely to be located in hotspots.
Hazardous land uses toxic storage and disposal facilities, manufacturing facilities, major roadways tend to be located where property values and income levels are low. Low socioeconomic status can be a proxy for other kinds of social vulnerability , including race, a lack of ability to influence regulation and a lack of ability to move to neighborhoods with less environmental pollution. These communities bear a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution and are more likely to face health risks such as cancer or asthma. Studies show that patterns in race and income disparities not only indicate a higher exposure to pollution but also higher risk of adverse health outcomes.
Air pollution is usually concentrated in densely populated metropolitan areas, especially in developing countries where environmental regulations are relatively lax or nonexistent. While smoking remains the leading cause of lung cancer in China, the number of smokers is falling while lung cancer rates are rising. On 25 July in the case Dieter Janecek v Freistaat Bayern, the European Court of Justice ruled that under this directive  citizens have the right to require national authorities to implement a short term action plan that aims to maintain or achieve compliance to air quality limit values. This important case law appears to confirm the role of the EC as centralised regulator to European nation-states as regards air pollution control.
It places a supranational legal obligation on the UK to protect its citizens from dangerous levels of air pollution, furthermore superseding national interests with those of the citizen. In response to these charges, Boris Johnson , Mayor of London , has criticised the current need for European cities to communicate with Europe through their nation state's central government , arguing that in future "A great city like London" should be permitted to bypass its government and deal directly with the European Commission regarding its air quality action plan. This can be interpreted as recognition that cities can transcend the traditional national government organisational hierarchy and develop solutions to air pollution using global governance networks, for example through transnational relations.
Transnational relations include but are not exclusive to national governments and intergovernmental organisations,  allowing sub-national actors including cities and regions to partake in air pollution control as independent actors. Particularly promising at present are global city partnerships. The C40 is a public 'non-state' network of the world's leading cities that aims to curb their greenhouse emissions. According to one projection, by half of the world's pollution emissions could be generated by Africa. Global warming portal Environment portal. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Harmful substances in the atmosphere.
For the obsolete medical theory, see Miasma theory. For the measure of how polluted the air is, see Air quality index. For the properties of air, see Qualities of air. Air pollution. Biological pollution. Biological pollution Genetic pollution. Electromagnetic pollution. Light Ecological light pollution Overillumination Radio spectrum pollution. Natural pollution. Ozone Radium and radon in the environment Volcanic ash Wildfire. Noise pollution. Radiation pollution. Soil pollution. Solid waste pollution. Space pollution. Thermal pollution. Urban heat island. Visual pollution. Air travel Clutter advertising Traffic signs Overhead power lines Vandalism. Water pollution. Lists Pollution-related diseases Most polluted cities Categories By country.
Temperate and polar seasons. Winter Spring Summer Autumn. Tropical seasons. Dry season Harmattan Wet season. Meteorology Climate change Tornado terms Tropical cyclone terms. Main articles: Pollutant and Greenhouse gas emissions. Play media. Main articles: Indoor air quality and Indoor air pollution in developing countries. See also: Neuroplastic effects of pollution. Particulate control Mechanical collectors dust cyclones , multicyclones Electrostatic precipitators : An electrostatic precipitator ESP , or electrostatic air cleaner, is a particulate collection device that removes particles from a flowing gas such as air , using the force of an induced electrostatic charge. Electrostatic precipitators are highly efficient filtration devices that minimally impede the flow of gases through the device, and can easily remove fine particulates such as dust and smoke from the air stream.
Baghouses : Designed to handle heavy dust loads, a dust collector consists of a blower, dust filter, a filter-cleaning system, and a dust receptacle or dust removal system distinguished from air cleaners which utilize disposable filters to remove the dust. Particulate scrubbers : A wet scrubber is a form of pollution control technology. The term describes a variety of devices that use pollutants from a furnace flue gas or from other gas streams. In a wet scrubber, the polluted gas stream is brought into contact with the scrubbing liquid, by spraying it with the liquid, by forcing it through a pool of liquid, or by some other contact method, so as to remove the pollutants. Main article: Air quality law.
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