Jun 29, 2012
South Africa adopts air quality standard to promote public healthBack
South Africa|Respiratory And Cardiovascular Systems|Edna Molewa
© Reuse this
Water and Environmental Affairs Minster Edna Molewa on Friday established a national ambient air quality standard, aimed at improving public health.
The 2005 World Health Organisation (WHO) Air Quality Guidelines found that airborne particulate matter and public health is consistent in showing adverse health effects at exposures experienced by urban populations in cities throughout the world.
“The guidelines suggest that there are currently no safe levels against ultrafine particulate matter and recommend that countries consider adoption of an increasingly stringent set of standards, tracking progress through emission reductions and declining concentrations of particulate matter,” the department said in a statement.
The range of health effects of ultrafine particulate matter on humans is broad, affecting the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Current scientific evidence indicates that guidelines cannot be proposed that would lead to complete protection against adverse health effects of particulate matter, as thresholds have not been identified.
“It is important that South Africa develops the ambient air quality standard for 2.5 micron meter (PM2.5) as it will contribute positively in protecting and enhancing the health of South African citizens,” the department said.
Published under the National Environmental: Air Quality Act, 2004, the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than PM2.5, the department has considered these guidelines and other related studies as scientific basis for inclusion of this pollutant in the list of pollutants under the Air Quality Act, and has also taken into account South African conditions such as estimated natural background levels, prevailing ambient air concentrations, as well as current trends in air -uality management planning across the country.
Particulate air pollutants comprise material in solid or liquid phase suspended in the atmosphere. Such particles can be either primary and naturally occurring or secondary and related to human activities. It can also cover a wide range of sizes. Naturally occurring particulate matter originates from dust storms, forest fires and sea spray. Human activities, such as the combustion of fossil fuels, motor vehicles tailpipes and various industrial and non-industrial processes generate significant amounts of particulate matter.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Policy and Enforcement News
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
This Week's Magazine
A structured approach, wherein managers personally engage at each level of the project, is necessary to mitigate delays to the workflow on mega construction projects, says State-owned Eskom Kusile power station projects GM Abram Masango. The 4 800 MW Kusile power...
Construction of transmission lines to evacuate power from a regional hydroelectric project in East Africa, which was hanging on the balance following the withdrawal of financing by key partners, is now back on track. After six months of uncertainty, the African...
Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between South African and Malaysian companies at the Malaysian High Commission in Pretoria on Friday. These MoUs are part of the indirect offsets programme South Africa is providing in return for Malaysia’s...
The South African new vehicle market may well dip to 640 000 units in 2014, says Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) sales and marketing senior VP Calvyn Hamman. This is the first prediction that anticipates a drop in the market. To date economists and industry bodies...
Nissan will re-enter the South African minibus taxi industry in March, when the new NV350 Impendulo goes on sale. The 16-seater has been specifically tailored to meet the terms of government’s Taxi Recapitalisation Programme, which aims to replace South Africa’s...