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Air Pollution in Bogotá, Collombia
 
     

Dangerous Air Pollution in Bogota, Colombia

Health warning!

Environmental emergency?

Release of hazardous and noxious substances (air pollutants) including tons of Diesel fumes

Warning! If you are considering coming to Bogota, Colombia check this before coming. This is what the air you are going to breathe in contains:

Sulphur dioxide (SO2). This contaminant is mainly emitted during the combustion of sulphur-containing fossil fuels, such as crude oil and coal. Sulphure dioxide concentrations in air have decreased in the past two decades, mainly because we use more non-sulphure-containing fuels for the generation of energy. Sulphur dioxide is a stinging gas and as a result it can cause breathing problems with humans. In moist environments, sulphure dioxide may be transferred to sulphuric acid. This acid causes acidification and winter smog.


Nitrogen oxides (NOx). These contaminants are emitted by traffic, combustion installations, such as power plants, and the industries. Nitrogen oxides are also released from farmland in the agricultural sector. Using catalysers in car exhausts can prevent emissions of nitrogen oxides. Nitrogen oxides are gasses that react with other air pollutants when they are present in air. For example, nitrogen oxides play an important rolein the formation of ozone in the lower atmosphere, and in acidification and eutrophication processes. They can deeply penetrate the lungs and damage human lung functions.


-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). VOC can be a range of different contaminants, such as carbohydrates, organic compounds and solvents. These compounds usually derive from petrol and gasoline reservoirs, industrial processes and fuel combustion, paint and cleanser use, or agricultural activities. VOC play an important role in ozone shaping in the lower atmospheric layer, the main cause of smog. VOC can cause various health effects, depending on the kind of compounds that are present and their concentrations. Effects can vary from smell nuisance to decreases in lung capacity, and even cancer.


Carbon monoxide (CO). This gas consists during incomplete combustion of fuels. When we let a car engine run in a closed room, carbon monoxide concentrations in the air will rise extensively. Carbon monoxide contributes to the greenhouse effect, smog and acidification. The gas can bind to haemoglobin in blood, preventing oxygen transport through the body. This results in oxygen depletion of the heart, brains and blood vessels, eventually causing death.

Lead (Pb). Comes from Combustion of fossil fuels and leaded gasoline; paint; smelters (metal refineries); battery manufacturing. It causes brain and nervous system damage (esp. children), digestive and other problems. Some lead-containing chemicals cause cancer in animals

Dust particles. Dust particles form a complex of organic compounds and minerals. These can derive from natural sources, such as volcanoes, or human activities, such as industrial combustion processes or traffic. Particles are categorized according to particle size. The smallest particles have the ability to transport toxic compounds into the respiratory tract. Some of these compounds are carcinogenic. The upper respiratory tract stops the larger dust particles. When they are released into the environment, dust particles can cause acidification and winter smog.

Diesel fumes cause cancer 

cancer.org

The American Cancer Society

World Health Organization

The International Agency For Research on Cancer

National Institutes of Health

Ello también ha sido publicado por reconocidos medios de comunicación a nivel mundial como:

BBC

The New York Times

EL TIEMPO

 

Click the images to see where the smog comes from


These pictures were taken last September 25 in the morning in a sunny day.

The pictures above show how stupid  (literally! Just check the pictures to see results) these things are:

  • Car-free day. Results: The next days lots of traffic jams because people are bound to use their cars for what they could not use them during the Car-free day. City economy goes well down during the car-free day while insecurity increases.

  • One year emission Analysis certificate for public transportation vehicles and two year emission Analysis certificate for private vehicles. This is like trying to keep drunk driver to drive by asking for a 2 month blood alcohol test certificate

  • Transmilenio. Public transportation service based on big busses moved by Diesel. See results in the  pictures above. 

  • "Pico y Placa” (Peak and License Plate). Car use restriction  by the last digit of the license plate number.  Results: The traffic jams moved out of the restriction schedule to affect other hours. Many people bought a second, third fourth car, etc.  The city economy has been hardly affected

    the way of applying the restriction was defined, that is, by the last digit of the license
    plate number

Bogota majors responsible for the items above (and for the pollution of course): Enrique Peñaloza (main responsible)  and Antanas Mockus

 

more info in Spanish