Yangon’s air quality is still within safe limits despite the growing number of vehicles in the city, according to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, which began issuing daily updates on the city’s air pollution on Tuesday.
The measurement on Tuesday rated the city’s air quality index (AQI) at 95. The index calculates the concentration of pollutants in the air, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ground-level ozone and particulate matter.
The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology said a rating of 0-100 indicates an air quality that does not harm people’s health.
A rating of 101-300 indicates air quality that could harm people’s health, while a rating of 301-500 indicates that people should not go outside.
U Kyaw Moe Oo, director general of the department, said his agency will release the city’s air quality index every day. He added, “We will release the air quality index daily to keep people informed.”
The government has had instruments to measure the quality of air for a few years but it only began to release the daily index on Tuesday.
The department also plans to install equipment in other key cities to measure air quality.
People can visit the agency’s Facebook page daily to check the index.
A non-government organisation called Air Quaility Yangon is conducting its own monitoring of air quality in Yangon, and experts said the initiative should also be welcomed. The air quality index will not only help raise awareness about air pollution in the city but also help policymakers develop regulations to protect public health.
Dr Khin Maung Lwin, a public health advocate and environmentalist, said, “Everyone should care about air quality, especially people living in Yangon. The measurement of air quality is a welcome development.”