For better air quality, EMB-7 urges public to use friendly alternatives to fireworks
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas appeals for the use of safe and friendly alternatives to fireworks and fire crackers this holiday season to help maintain good air quality in the region.
Engr. Cindylyn Pepito-Ochea, chief of EMB-7‘s Environmental Education and Information Unit, encouraged the public to prefer safer methods such as the use of “bubbles” and “torotots” this Christmas and New Year.
According to the DENR, the particulate matter 10 (PM 10) in firecrackers comes from the residues of the “explosive powders wrapped in paper, which consists of a mixture of sulfur (S), carbon (C), and potassium nitrate (saltpeter, KNO3) and other fine minerals, which contains heavy metals.”
The bureau measures air quality through particulate matter (PM). 2.5 and PM 10.
Pepito-Ochea noted that there was an improvement in the ambient air quality in Metro Cebu during the strict implementation of community quarantines since 2020, but this has been slightly affected by the resumption of in-person activities under the new normal.
She said that based on the bureau’s emission inventory for the past three years, using data from all their monitoring stations in the region, the major source of air pollutants are vehicles or mobile sources.
“Grabe pag ubos, perteng gamaya jud. Dako jud kaayog deperensya kay wa na may mang gawas,” she told reporters in a news forum on Tuesday, December 20, 2022.
(It was really down. There’s really a big difference because no one was going out.)
“Sa karon ni normal og balik ang dagan, makaapektar. Pero ang atoang ambient air quality is still on the good air quality level. Naa pa ta sa attainment area. Mo warning ra pod dayon ta sa public once naay levels na mo-exceed dayon siya,” she added.
(Now that it’s back to normal, [the air quality] is affected. But out ambient air quality is still on the good air quality level. We’re still in the attainment area. We will issue a warning to the public once the levels exceed the normal.)
The EMB-7 will monitor the ambient air quality on the eve of Christmas and New Year.
Meanwhile, she also encouraged the public, especially those who will be traveling to various places, to check the area’s realtime ambient air quality through the official Philippine Air Quality Index website.
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