Be careful with the air quality south of Bogotá: they declare an environmental alert
February 4, 2023 – 12:34 PM
The District declared a Phase I Alert for air quality in the southwestern part of the city, due to the high concentrations of particulate matter that have been occurring in the city for the last 27 hours.
The alert only brings recommendations for the health of citizens, At the moment it will not represent any restriction on mobility or trade or industry.
“The Health and Environment Secretariats have decided to declare a Phase I environmental alert in the southwest of Bogotá. This measure is taken after 36 hours of regular air quality conditions have been met in that area of the city. The The measures will include health recommendations and a reinforcement of the inspection, control and surveillance functions on mobile and fixed sources, mobility restrictions are not included because the cause of this alert is weather and regional conditions,” he said. the Secretary of Environment, Carolina Urrutia.
The influence of the forest fires that have occurred near the urban perimeter of the city (Sumapaz) and the village of El Verjón Bajo; in Venezuela, and in the departments of Vichada, Meta and Casanare, have been the determining factors for the District to adopt this measure; in addition to the phenomena of thermal inversion, the stability in the atmosphere and the meteorological conditions.
During the last days, in Bogotá, there has been an increase in the concentrations of particulate matter 2.5 due to the phenomenon of thermal inversion that is frequent at this time of the year, when the dry season traditionally begins with cold mornings, and where a thermal shock that limits the movement of pollutants, causing them to remain on the surface and not circulate, concentrate and be more noticeable in the atmosphere.
“This Friday, February 3, there were three thermal inversion phenomena, which has caused this particulate matter to remain over the city. Since February 27, there has also been a very noticeable increase in particulate matter coming from the regions, We have detected more than 2,500 tons of particulate matter that comes from those forest fires and we add those that are occurring in Sumapaz and the one that occurred in The Verjón Bajowhich could be seen from Bogotá,” added the Secretary of the Environment.
The measure is taken responsibly to protect the health of the people of Bogotá, due to the fact that the concentration levels of particulate matter have been in regular conditions (orange), according to the Bogotá Index of Air Quality and Health Risk (Iboca), in various stations in the southwest of the city.
The Ministry of the Environment will continue to carry out special monitoring of air quality to review external factors that may have a negative impact on it.
Similarly, it will intensify monitoring and control activities in mobile and fixed sources that emit particulate matter, especially those that operate with solid and liquid fuels in the southwestern zone.
In addition, during the validity of this alert it is suggested not to carry out preventive maintenance to the emission control systems of the fixed sources located in industrial, commercial or service establishments.
What is thermal inversion?
Phenomenon that occurs when the temperature in the upper layers of the atmosphere is higher than that recorded on the surface, when it is normal for the bottom to be hotter than the top.
For this reason, under specific conditions and times, in Bogotá this phenomenon occurs that prevents contamination from circulating and this causes a “cream of contamination” over the city, which is what can be seen from the high points of buildings and hills. Orientals.
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Given the increases in the concentrations of particulate matter, the Ministry of Health makes the following recommendations:
- Avoid exposing yourself to areas of high air pollution such as unpaved roads and high vehicular flow, constructions and industrial areas or areas of accumulation of rubble or quarries.
- Clean the surfaces and floors of the house using cloths or rags moistened with water, to prevent dust from rising. If you are near a source of smoke, soot, or particulate matter, avoid keeping windows and doors open.
- Avoid strenuous exercise or outdoor sports during times of high traffic (between 6:00 am and 10:00 am, and between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm).
- Avoid the consumption of tobacco and its derivatives or being exposed to environments where there are people smoking.
When using the bike
In high-traffic roads it implies higher doses of inhalation of pollutants, the recommendation is to use:
- surgical masks
- Masks with respirators
- Stay hydrated, drink water and avoid sugary or fizzy drinks.
- Limit efforts and intense physical activity in the open air in children under five years of age, over 60 years of age, pregnant women and people with diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
- People with chronic diseases must maintain prescribed treatments, attend controls and avoid exposing themselves to crowds.
Take care of your health
- Update the vaccination schedule according to age.
- Wear a mask when you have a respiratory infection.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid contact with people who have infections.
Children under five years of age should go to the emergency department in case of presenting warning signs such as:
- Rapid breathing, “chest wheezing” or “rib cave-in,” and persistent cough.
- An episode of fever in children under two months or in children older than this age, fever that is difficult to control or that persists for more than two days, weakness, drowsiness or irritability.
- The child cannot drink or breastfeed or does not eat at all, vomits everything, has fits or convulsions, is getting worse, or does not look well.