Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study reveals clean air challenge for major Asian cities

14.12.2006
Hundreds of millions of city dwellers breathe air so polluted with chemicals, smoke and particles that it dramatically exceeds World Health Organization limits with major impacts on health and the environment.

A major study on the state of air pollution in 20 of Asia’s key cities shows that while there have been improvements in achieving better air quality, air pollution still poses a threat to health and quality of life of many people.

The study led by the Stockholm Environment Institute’s (SEI) centre at the University of York (UK) and the Clean Air Initiative for Asia Cities (CAI-Asia) is being published as Asian Environment Ministers hold the first governmental meeting on urban air quality in Asia on 13-14 December in Yogyakarta, Indonesia as part of the Better Air Quality 2006 Workshop.

The World Health Organization estimates that 537,000 people in Southeast Asia and the Pacific die prematurely each year due to air pollution. The study found that there has been a general improvement in the ability of Asia cities to manage urban air quality since the 1990s. But air quality in the majority of the cities examined still exceeds international guidelines for the protection of human health for certain pollutants.

Concentrations of sulphur dioxide, the gas responsible for acid rain, have stabilized at a relative low level and rarely exceed health guidelines. However, the use of high sulphur fuel content in some countries may result in an increase in emissions.

Emissions of nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, mainly from the transport sector, are of concern in all cities currently experiencing rapid motorization. In addition, tropospheric ozone, a main constituent of photochemical smog, will increase if motor vehicle use continues to rise.

The international collaborative effort was led by the Stockholm Environment Institute’s (SEI) centre at the University of York (UK) and the Clean Air Initiative for Asia Cities (CAI-Asia) together with the Korea Environment Institute (KEI) (Seoul) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (Nairobi). The study was funded by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida), the Korean Ministry of Environment and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The study examined the capability to manage air quality and collected air quality data for Bangkok, Beijing, Busan, Colombo, Dhaka, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Metro Manila, Mumbai, New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Surabaya, Taipei and Tokyo.

The assessment showed that while there are underlying similarities in the air pollution problems in each city, many differences still exist.

Bangkok, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo were identified as having excellent capacity to manage air quality. These cities have achieved major reductions in key emissions but still face the challenge of addressing moderate fine particulate pollution resulting from vehicles fumes.

Colombo, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Metro Manila and Mumbai were identified as having moderate capability in air quality management. They have achieved reductions in sulphur dioxide emissions but have the challenge of addressing transport-related emissions.

Dhaka, Hanoi, Surabaya and Kathmandu were identified has having limited capability to manage air quality. Air pollution data was limited for key pollutants. These cities have the challenge of improving air quality monitoring as well as further achieving reductions in emissions.

Dr Dieter Schwela, SEI, lead author, said: “Some cities have made tremendous progress in improving their air quality. However, more work needs to be done to address specific pollutants such as fine particulate matter which poses a real threat to human health.”

“The study has shown that there is a great opportunity for those cities which need to develop further their air quality management capability to learn from cities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo that are further along the road to achieving better air quality.”

The study’s authors recommend further action is required to improve air quality
in Asia’s cities. These include:
•Taking a more strategic approach to managing air quality to include all aspects of theproblem
•Adopting more stringent vehicle emission standards
•Using more cleaner fuels for motor vehicles, industry and power plants
•Better inspection and source of emissions
•Stricter enforcement of legislation and more stringent standards for air quality
•Harmonization of air quality standards across Asia
•Development of more reliable inventories of air pollution emissions
•Regional approach to air pollution to address transboundary air pollution and global climate change

David Garner | alfa
Further information:
http://www.york.ac.uk/admin/presspr/pressreleases/earthscan.htm

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>