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Metro Manila registers unusually clean air

At least for today, Metro Manila residents can enjoy the cooler breeze outdoors sans the threat of polluted air.

All four monitoring stations of the Rotary Club of Makati air quality monitoring system in Metro Manila registered air quality rated from good to very good at 2:00 this afternoon.

Accordingly, no precautionary health advisories were issued.

The Lung Center station in Quezon City registered the best air quality among the four stations. At 2pm, its air quality was rated “very good” with a reading of just 4 micrograms per cubic meter (ug/m3) for fine particulate matters measuring 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5).

air quality monitoring Lung Center of the Philippines

“Very good” air quality reading at Lung Center of the Philippines 2PM February 15, 2017. Source: Airtoday.ph

This is well within WHO’s 25 ug/m3 safe air ceiling for PM2.5. For the coarser PM10 the safe ceiling is 50ug/m3. PM2.5 poses a greater health risk as the fine dust can be ingested and lodge in the lungs.

UST-Espana, which usually has the dirtiest air among the four stations, had air rated “good” quality. The readings were 25ug/m3 for PM10 and 12ug/m3 for PM2.5, which are all within the safe standard.

"Good" air quality in UST Espana 2PM February 15, 2017

“Good” air quality in UST Espana 2PM February 15, 2017. Source: Airtoday.ph

Ayala had the second best air quality with readings  at 21 and 9 ug/m  for PM10 and PM2.5, respectively. This was followed in third place by EDSA-Muñoz at 47 and 15 ug/m3  for PM10 and PM2.5 respectively.

 Air quality is monitored continuously day and night 24/7 with readings and health advisories available to the public through the system’s Internet website airtoday.ph and Android app. The advanced Germany-made instruments transmit data wirelessly to a server for analysis and distribution.

"Good" air quality in Ayala Avenue Makati 2PM February 15, 2017

“Good” air quality in Ayala Avenue Makati 2PM February 15, 2017. Source: Airtoday.ph

Experts say that air pollution in Metro Manila mainly comes from tailpipe emissions. Good air quality is therefore unusual considering heavy vehicular traffic anytime of the day.

"Good" air quality in UST Espana at 2PM February 15, 2017. Source: Airtoday.ph

“Good” air quality in UST Espana at 2PM February 15, 2017. Source: Airtoday.ph

Eddie H. Yap, Makati Rotary president for RY 2015-2016 and project manager welcomes the positive news.

“We are fortunate that a large part of Metro Manila has a relatively flat topography bounded by two large bodies of water on both sides. The occasional strong breeze and monsoon-induced winds that blow through help clear the polluted air.

We will look at factors that contributed to cleaner air today. The bright warm mid-afternoon sun and brisk wind condition could have contributed to the better air quality” he said.

Featured Image: Monica Arellano-Ongpin via Flickr

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New material discovered to filter PM 2.5 particles

The latest publication of Nature has highlighted a discovery headed by Professor Wang Bo from the Beijing Institute of Technology, whose team created a membrane made from metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) to filter PM2.5 particles.

According to Wang, the porous crystallization material is a compound of organic monomers and metal ions, which can catch and dissolve the small particles, and evaporative Volatile Organic Compound (VOC).

The team has by now applied the crystallized compound to the surfaces of textiles, foam materials, plastics and steel meshes.

The material is probably the most powerful filter yet and can absorb and store more than 10 times the number of molecules as currently available filters.

It can also morph the pollutants into carbon dioxide and water when catalyzed under sunlight—a sustainable and zero polluting way—to ensure the purification of the air, with a rate as high as 99 percent.

The material can lower pollution caused by PM2.5 and PM10 to 0.5 percent, and the rate will only be affected when the temperature rises to as high as 200 degrees Celsius. It is expected to be applied to reduce the polluted particles from dust bags of vacuum cleaner, exhaust pipes of automobiles and particles produced from manufacturing bases. It can also dissolve massive VOC.

According to Wang, his team plans to apply their discoveries to air purifiers and screen windows, and to reduce industrial emissions.

Wang Xun, dean at the Chemical School of Tsinghua University, said the discovery is significant in view of the country’s efforts to reduce smog and improve air quality.

“Its application will be broad and extensive,” Wang said.

This story was published with permission from China.org.cn

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