Air pollution is a phenomenon with a broad impact on human health and one of the greatest environmental issues facing the world.
Leading organizations recognize that the inhalation of pollutants, especially fine particles, represents a risk to the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, as well as impacting on other conditions.
Air pollution also jeopardizes the vitality of ecosystems and endangers flora and fauna.One of the biggest effects of this phenomenon is climate change, causing increased average temperatures.
With vast experience in air pollution studies, Cuba has conducted various projects and local and regional studies which go beyond mathematical calculations, to address the wider effects on the health of the most vulnerable sectors of the population.
The Institute of Meteorology is currently undertaking a project to monitor gas emissions and their impact on air quality.
In order to cover the entire archipelago, the Institute is being assisted by experts from provincial meteorological centers (CMP), to facilitate data collection and the accuracy of the information at each site.
The aim of this project, which began in 2015 and is due to be completed next year, is to update the register of fixed or stationary sources of air pollution, which includes all systems within a particular location, such as boilers, furnaces and power plants, explained Sinaí Barcia, a senior meteorology specialist.
Responding to the country’s Meteorology and Sustainable Development research program, the study also aims to calculate average annual atmospheric pollutant concentrations, according to the socio-economic characteristics and weather variables of each of the Cuban provinces, Barcia added.
This updating process will also allow for checks on different entities to ensure they are complying with the limits on carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur emissions, among other particles and harmful volatile compounds.
Similarly, the project will identify receptors according to area and times of the year, in order to promote, based on this analysis, mitigation measures to minimize impacts on health and the environment.
This effort represents a challenge going forward, which will require systematic work, the implementation of new technology to move toward renewable energy sources and reducing the use of fossil fuels or other pollutants.