Mpumalanga Province in South Africa tops world nitrogen dioxide air pollution charts - comes from Eskom power stations, transport (especially diesel vehicles) and coal mines
Mpumalanga province has the highest levels of air pollution in the world, topping nitrogen dioxide levels across six continents, according to a new analysis by environmental activist organisation Greenpeace.
Greenpeace compiled the analysis using data from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel 5P satellite. It provides imagery detailing air pollution levels across six continents from June 1 to August 31 2018.
According to Greenpeace, coal mines, transport and Eskom’s 12 coal-fired power stations have been identified as the biggest sources of air pollution in the province. Persistent exposure to high PM2.5 levels and ozone leads to a range of long-term health conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Greenpeace says Eskom’s coal power stations are not compliant with the standards and that the power utility received permission to postpone compliance for five years in 2015. According to the analysis, Eskom has applied for another postponement for nitrogen oxides for 16 of its 19 power plants.
According to the World Health Organisation, 4.2 million people die every year as a result of exposure to outdoor air pollution. This type of pollution contributed to 7.6% of all deaths in 2016. It is also the kind of pollution that blows across Mpumalanga.
The health organisation’s website says that as “air quality declines, the risk of stroke, heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma, increases for the people who live in [polluted communities]”.
I've been hearing more and more people complaining about asthma, chest problems, etc over the last decade and everyone seems to think it is pollen. It's possible we are just ignoring the real causes and many people are suffering.
|Mpumalanga tops world nitrogen dioxide air pollution charts
Greenpeace says the province has the highest levels of air pollution and the group has called on government to come up with a plan to address this