Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Archive for the ‘nitrogen dioxide’ Category

7 million children across DRC out of school

Posted by feww on November 14, 2011

DRC: “African World War,” Chronic Corruption and Poor Governance Severely Impact Schooling

More than a quarter of the primary school-aged children and two-third of adolescents not enrolled in classes, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported.

Disaster Calendar 2011 – November 14

[November 14, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,584 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

DRC is still struggling to overcome the effects of wars that raged between 1996 and 2003, compounded by continuing violence in the east of the country and decades of corruption and poor governance.

  • Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). About seven million children across DER (pop: 71,712,867; 18th largest) are out of schools.
    • DRC is the second largest country in Africa (area: 2,345,409 km2) and 11th largest in the world.
    • The country has not yet overcome the impact of two devastating wars, also known as “African World War,” that raged between 1996 and 2003 and involved seven foreign militaries.
    • The effect of the wars have been compounded by ongoing violence in the east of the country and chronic corruption.
    • Congo’s second war is the world’s deadliest since WWII, claiming 5.4 million lives, most of whom died from diseases and malnutrition.
    • The prevalence of rape and other sexual violence in eastern Congo is the worst in the world.
    • Poverty and weak governance are two of the major contributing factors.
    • Another factor that compounds the problem is the use of school land by private developers, especially in urban areas, IRIN reported.
    • “Many of the public schools in existence are in deplorable conditions; no blackboards in many of them; in some, children sit on the floor due to lack of desks, and the most worrying concern is encroachment on school land by individuals, many of whom are connected politically,” according to SOS Kinshasa, an NGO based in the capital.
    • “One can find a pharmacy, restaurant or even bar right in the middle of a school compound—it looks like all open spaces in schools are up for grabs.”
  • UK. The levels of nitrogen dioxide pollution in 40 of 43 “assessment zones” set up across the UK exceed the EU limits, a report said.
    • Air pollution in the UK takes up to eight months off Britons’ life expectancy.
    • “But for the 200,000 people most directly affected, the shortfall is two years.”
    • Bad air quality is also costing the country up to $32 bn (UKP20bn) per year via poor health.
    • “It is estimated that around 4,000 people died as a result of the Great Smog of London [aka, 'pea-souper'] in 1952.”
    • “In 2008, 4,000 people died in London from air pollution and 30,000 died across the whole of the UK.” The report said.
    • Vehicle exhausts, tires and brakes emissions are the major sources of airborne particles.

Related Links

Posted in global disasters, Life Expectancy, nitrogen dioxide | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

HK Air Pollution = Lower Visibility + Higher Mortality

Posted by feww on January 19, 2011

Poor Air Lowers Visibility in Hong Kong, Raises Death Rates : Report

Visibility in Hong Kong continues to deteriorate due to air pollution

“Visibility in Hong Kong has deteriorated so sharply over the last 50 years because of air pollution that variations in levels can even be used to predict mortality rates, health experts warned Wednesday.” Source

Report Highlights:

  • Current Average Visibility in Hong Kong: 12.6km (7.8 miles)
  • Visibility in other polluted population centers (Paris, Berlin, Auckland and Vancouver) : 20 to 25km
  • Number of smoggy days when visibility falls below 8 km: 54 days in 2007 (up from 6.6 days in 1968)
  • HK air has 7 times more particulate than even the polluted Auckland and Vancouver (80 µgm-³ —micrograms per cubic meter of  air—in HK compared to 24 in Auckland and 20 in Vancouver)
  • Each 6.5km reduction in visibility corresponds to 1.13% rise in the number of non-accidental deaths
  • An additional 1,200 deaths per year have occurred between 2007 and 2010

“Loss of visibility is a direct measure of serious harm to health. Loss of visibility kills people,” said Anthony Hedley, Honorary Professor at the School of Public Health. Source

“Air pollutants increase the stickiness of elements in the blood … With increased stickiness, blood cells stick together, they form a clot. If you form a clot, you may obstruct a vessel and if the vessel is in the heart or the head, you get a heart attack or a stroke,” Hedley said.

The true non-accidental death rates for Hong Kong may be even higher than those stated in the report, FIRE-Earth contends. According to one report:

  • Studies in Greater Vancouver have found that more than 2700 deaths and 33,000 emergency room visits could be avoided with a 25% reduction in particulate matter
  • Air pollution with particulate matter (PM) claims an average of 8.6 months from the life of every person in the European Union (EU)
  • Exposure to ground-level ozone for even short periods at relatively low concentrations has been found to significantly reduce lung function in healthy people during periods of exercise.  Source
  • Particulate air pollution causes 455,000 premature deaths in the EU each year, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) says. Source

Related Links:

Other Related Links:

Posted in air quality, Hong Kong visibility, nitrogen dioxide, particulates | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 392 other followers