By Nyein Nyein
The Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) is planning to measure air pollution levels at nearly 50 locations in Yangon region, in cooperation with the Environmental Conservation Department, said Daw Hlaing Maw Oo, Secretary of the committee.
“The Environmental Conservation Department will cooperate with the YCDC to measure the level of air pollution at 47 locations in Yangon Region and some other locations which have weathes stations of the Department of Meterology and Hydrology,” said Daw Hlaing Maw Oo.
“Civil society organizations and the US Embassy have measured the level of air pollution in Yangon Region. They have already announced that the level of air pollution is high during the office hours (mornings and evenings) when people use more vehicles, causing pollution to reach the red level (a reading of 150 to 200 on the pollution index). However, the DMH has announced that the level of air pollution is 50 to 100,” according to officials.
“Air pollution levels can be correctly ascertained through 24-hour measurements and they need to be measured across Yangon Region,” said U Cho Tun Aung, head of the Environmental Conservation and Cleaning Department of YCDC.
“There are three steps involved in curbing air pollution — finding out how air has become polluted, finding solutions, and deciding how to gauge it. YCDC alone cannot bring down pollution levels. We need more cooperation from other departments,” he said.
“The air in Yangon Region can become polluted if leaves, garbage, and dry wood are burned. Smoke from factories and vehicles can also pollute the air. There are many construction businesses in Yangon. Dust and particulate matter from construction sites can also pollute the air,” he added.
There are six colour codes in the Air Quality Index (AQI). A reading of 0-50 (green) on the index shows good air quality. A reading of 51-100 (yellow) is considered satisfactory. A reading of 101-150 (orange) reflects moderate levels of pollution which would affect old persons, young children, and people who are not in good health. A reading of 151-200 (red) and 201-300 (purple) shows moderately polluted to poor air quality. A reading of 301-500 (maroon) reflects very poor air quality to severe levels of pollution.(Translated by Hay Mar)