Air quality drops countrywide

By Ifham Nizam

The air quality level in Colombo and other major parts, indicating harmful levels has come down to moderate level since December.The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) says the air quality dropped countrywide.

NBRO Chief Scientist of the Air Pollution Management Unit Sarath Premasiri yesterday said that the recent increase in the spread of dust particles with the northeastern monsoon might have caused the drop in air quality.

Health experts, at the Colombo Municipal Council, warned that people suffering from respiratory diseases, children under five years old, vulnerable patients, pregnant mothers, and others, should be very careful.

The current concentration of PM2.5 in Sri Lanka is 23 (µg/m³). The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 15 µg/m³ as the threshold concentration of Particulate Matter PM2.5 for 24 hrs mean.The concentration was 0.92 times the recommended limit.According to IQAir.com, earlier this month Colombo recorded 20.4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value at PM2.5.

Sri Lanka has been experiencing poor air quality since at least early December.Official have said the previous significant drop reported on December 08 was due to the deep depression over Southeast Bay of Bengal carrying the air from India.

WHO has provided three equipment to measure the air quality, the Central Environment Authority (CEA) said.

According to CEA Environmental Pollution Control Division’s Director General Dr. Sanjaya Rathnayaka these measuring equipment have been placed in the cities of Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Jaffna.Dr. Rathnayaka said that precise information pertaining to air pollution can be obtained with these state-of-the-art equipment.


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