Air quality monitoring machines to be operational next month

25 May 2019 05:01 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) said the air quality monitoring machines installed in Battaramulla and in Kandy would be operational next month and the Authority would be in a position to monitor air quality 24 hours a day from June.

CEA Deputy Director of Laboratory Services, Kamal Priyantha told the Daily Mirror that they were planning to monitor the dangerous Particulate Matter (PM) in air below 10 from June 5 to coincide with the World Environment Day (WED).

Particulate matter 10 contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can be inhaled. They are injurious to health. Some particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter can get deep into a person’s lungs and some may even get into his or her bloodstream.

In Battaramulla, the CEA would introduce a colour code system. Besides, there would be mobile monitors countrywide. The latest world Air Pollution Report has identified Sri Lanka as the 18th worst country as regards air pollution.

The report reveals that during 2018, four of the five most polluted countries in the world were in South Asia. Of the 85 cities monitored in this region, 99 per cent failed to meet the WHO annual guideline for PM2.5. As a whole, cities here average a PM2.5 concentration of 60 µg/m³, which is six times the recommended limit of 10 µg/m³.

Delhi typically receives most media coverage as one of the world’s "pollution capitals", the Indian capital "only" ranks 10th for annual PM2.5 concentration.

At the initial stages, the Vehicle Emission Testing (VET) Programme brought down the permitted levels of Particulate Matter (PM 10) and Sulphur levels in most of parts of the country. However, for number of years, monitoring didn’t take place. Earlier, VET officials monitored Sulphur Dioxide (SO2), Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Water Vapour (H2O), Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Nitrous Oxide Gases (Nox) content and the percentage of Particulate Matter (PM) in cities. (Sheain Fernandopulle)

  Comments - 9

  • John Smith Saturday, 25 May 2019 05:19 PM

    Information for Colombo is already available through monitoring at the US Embassy. Unless something is done to reduce particulate pollution, like removing old diesel vehicles from the road, or prosecuting officials who accept bribes to pass them as compliant, or stopping street cleaners burning everything they can, nothing will change.

    Anmanpan Saturday, 25 May 2019 05:26 PM

    So what? Just the machines.

    Harsha B Saturday, 25 May 2019 07:23 PM

    Could we have politician monitoring devices to stop polluting the country?

    Air pollution of MPs Saturday, 25 May 2019 07:50 PM

    One near the Parliament to monitor the 224MPs extract of gas.

    patriot Saturday, 25 May 2019 08:41 PM

    Before install these air monitor machines, CEA needs to understand what is the root cause of the air pollution and what are the solutions, not just get the data. Public and private buses are just one of the problems.

    Lord Wolfstein Sunday, 26 May 2019 10:29 AM

    What use is that if the government does not ban vehicles with high levels of pollution, as in Europe and the US?

    Yu ha Sunday, 26 May 2019 11:29 AM

    It might help if people stopped burning trash.

    Gihan Sunday, 26 May 2019 07:23 PM

    Vehicle emissions testing stations are mostly owned by politicos or their cronies. A mere Rs 500 appears to be adequate to allow a polluting vehicle to pass the test. Until this testing method is tightened and the highly polluting cars, lorries and particularly buses are taken off the road, the misery of poor air quality will continue no matter how much air quality testing is done.

    Deshan Perera Monday, 27 May 2019 03:20 PM

    I think we should more focus on PM than other pollutants. PM can stain and damage stone and other materials, including culturally important objects such as statues and monuments.


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