The Philippines' Air Quality Has Greatly Exceeded Safety Levels


The Philippines may have the cleanest air in Southeast Asia, but that doesn't mean we should just sit back and relax. According to Swiss-based air monitoring company IQAir, the Philippines rated 17.63 micrograms per cubic meter of air of PM2.5, a unit of measure that refers to air pollution particulate matter that's invisible to the naked eye.

It's a huge jump from the Philippines' 2018 rating of 14.62. In terms of ranking, however, we're a far cry from the world's most polluted countries Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Mongolia that had an average rating of 62.00 to 83.30 in 2019. The Bahamas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Iceland, on the other hand, were listed as the least polluted countries.

Still, our current ranking is a cause of concern since the World Health Organization's safety target is a rating of 10.00 µg/m3 and below.

"Southeast Asia’s emission sources include vehicle exhaust, biomass burning, industry, and coal-based energy production. Rapid growth and development often exacerbates air quality conditions in metropolitan areas, as construction and increased energy consumption result in increased ambient PM2.5," the report said.

IQAir compiled data from monitoring real-time air quality, as well as combined efforts from thousands of initiatives run by citizens, communities, companies, non-profit organizations, and governments to come up with the report.

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Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor at Esquire Philippines, where he writes about fashion and grooming. Before joining Esquire Philippines, he was a writer at Town & Country Philippines.
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