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 Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

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: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>