Air quality improving significantly – Premasiri

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With the South-West Monsoon and fewer vehicles on the road, air quality has improved significantly since Covid-19 lockdowns.

National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) Air, Water, Noise, Vibration, and Environmental Monitoring Coordinator, Senior Scientist Sarath Premasiri said normally during the monsoon season, there is an improvement in air quality, but now it is significant because many vehicles are out of action due to the fuel crisis.

The NBRO data published on 12 July showed 15 cities in the green category, four in the yellow category, one in Anuradhapura with dark yellow, and one in Embilipitiya with red.

The green category indicates that air quality is satisfactory and that air pollution poses little or no risk. The yellow category indicates that the air quality is acceptable, however, some pollutants may pose a moderate health risk to a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.

The dark yellow category indicates that members of vulnerable groups may be affected, but the public is unlikely to be affected. The red category indicates that everyone may begin to notice health effects and members of vulnerable groups may notice more serious health effects.

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is only releasing fuel for essential services such as public transportation. Schools have closed and officials have advised employees to work from home.

Many private vehicles haven’t been used in months.

By Thameenah Razeek