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NAME: Alejandra Acosta
SEMESTER: 6th Environmental Engineering
DATE: 2016-04-17
How is the air quality of Quito? And how does the air quality affect us?
Nowadays, the contamination of the different environmental factors, like water,
soil and air, has become a major problem around the world. Air pollution is one
of the principal problem in our planet, especially in countries where the industrial
activity is in constant productivity. Before starting the main topic in this essay,
which is Quitos Air Quality, we need to know what air pollution is, what the
principal characteristics are and above all how this problem affects us especially
what happened when we are expose to this type of contamination and what
happen to our health.
As we know, air pollution is a problem that affects all the societies, regardless of
the level of socio-economic development, and of course, this issue has a
particular impact on human health. We need to know the definitions of
contamination and health, and after that we can defined what air pollution is.
When we talk about contamination we focus on any undesirable modification that
suffer the environment, caused by the introduction of physical, chemical or
biological agents, in amounts higher than natural, and this agents are harmful to
human health and to natural resources and also alters the ecological balance.
(Romero, Olites & Alvarez, 2006)
Now, the word health have many definitions, but the concept that the WHO (World
Health Organization) shows is the most clear and complete. According to the
OMS (2013), health is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being
and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The other definitions have
the same context but additionally shows that health has an adverse relationship
with pollution.

Having clearly the meanings above mentioned, we can define what air pollution
is. Also known as atmospheric pollution, is a condition of the atmosphere, in the
certain substances or energy reach concentrations by above its ambient level. It
can cause damage, risks or discomforts to the people, the ecosystems and
goods. (Grisola, 2014)
Another definition of air pollution according to Yassi A (2002), air or atmospheric
pollution is the air emissions of hazardous substances at a rate that exceeds the
capability of natural process of the atmosphere, to transform, precipitate and
deposit or dilute through wind and air movement. So we can conclude that
atmospheric contamination or air pollution is therefore one of the main ways in
which it can be degraded or affected part of the environment.
There are different types of pollutants that are constantly affecting the air. There
are physical, biological and chemical pollutants. For example, the noise is
considered a physical pollutant to the air. Noise is an annoying sound able to
create psychological or physiological discomfort that can be temporary or
permanent, and in extremes cases can kill. (Grisola, 2014)

But between this three types of contaminants that exist, we can say that chemical
pollutants are those that affect the most this environmental problem and help it to
increase. Chemical substances issued to the atmosphere are caused especially
by cars, industries, aerosols, volatile, etc. most of them are, as we can see,
anthropogenic ways. Even they can be considered to be thus the flatulences of
the cows of our extensive ranching. (Grisola, 2014)

In our city, the air pollution is considered a major problem that has come affecting
in a seriously high level to the different ecosystems as to us the human beings.
In agreement with the information of monitoring of the quality of the air in Quito,
in the years 2005-2006, the particulate matter constitutes one of the pollutants
with more recurrence it presents extended leaves of absence of the maximum
allowed limit concentrated on the Ecuadoran Norm of Quality of the Air. (Daz &
Paez, 2011)

This particles that are the most harmful contaminant to our city, came from a
variety of sources, especially from chemical and physical process. Examples of
atmospheric particles are the particles produced by the processes of combustion,
photochemical processes, particles of salt formed by the spray of the ocean and
particles of land re-suspended. (Gillies, 1999)

Some of them are liquid and different solid. Others can contain a solid center
surrounded by a liquid. The atmospheric particles contain inorganic ions, metallic
components, elementary coal, compounds organic and composed in the shape
of crystals. The organic part is especially complex for that they contain thousands
of compounds. (Gillies, 1999)

Inside the anthropogenic sources or emission generated by the man, they find
the industrial processes and of combustion, the traffic transport, the presence of
additives so much in liquid fuels as petrol and oil, since in the different types of
oil that the internal combustion engines use. (CORPAIRE, 2006)

We have to know that the quality of the air in our city have to follow limits. The
maximum allowed limits established in the Ecuadoran legislation are 15 g.m3
(annual average) and 65 g.m3 (I mediate 24 hours) for PM2.5 and 50 g.m3
(annual average) and 150 gm3 (I mediate 24 hours) for PM10. These values
are comparable to the existing ones in the majority of the Latin-American
countries and even to the fixings for the American Agency of Environmental
Protection, USEPA. (Daz & Paez, 2011)
In the annual Report of the quality of the air in Quito correspondent to the year
2006, decided that the major problem of air pollution assumes to the emission of
particulate matter thin (PM2,5) or deposited matters. The above mentioned
exceeded the permissible limit of the Ecuadoran norm of quality of the air almost
every month of the year in, at least, one of the stations of monitoring. It constitutes
a problem due to the harmful effects to the health that produces this pollutant.

Between the principal pollutants with aptitude to affect the health of the humans,
there are those who come from primary emission or atmospheric transformations.
The self-propelled vehicles are the most important source of some of these
pollutants (especially the carbon monoxide), oxides of nitrogen, not burnt
hydrocarbons, ozone and other photochemical oxidizers, lead and, in minor
proportion, the suspended total particles of dioxide of sulphur and the organic
volatile compounds. (Romero, Olites & Alvarez, 2006)

In our city this air pollution problem has brought consequences to the human
health. For example, in the last decade, the health area had made a lot of
epidemiological studies, those, demonstrate that the exhibition to different
environmental pollutants, principal the exhibition to particle matter, are associate
with an increase in the incident of asthma, severity in the deterioration of the
pulmonary function, as well as major gravity in the presentation of the respiratory
diseases of children and teenagers. (Romero, Olites & Alvarez, 2006)

From this point of view, the particles that have major interest are the particles with
minor diameters to 10 m since they are easily breathable and penetrate in the
lungs. The relation between the exhibition to particulate matter (smoke and
PM10) and the adverse effects to the health have received documents in different
studies, though only some of them have investigated the impact of the smoke on
the health of children with sharp crisis of asthma bronchial. (Daz & Paez, 2011)

As we know, Quito is an urban zone that in the last decade had grown in an
economic, technologic, industrial and in a population way. The increasing
urbanization, the traffic and the big costs of the means of control have turned into
a crucial problem the pollution of the urban air. The pollutants and his derivatives
can produce adverse effects to the health, and interact and alter the
indispensable molecules for the biochemical and physiological processes of the
human body. (Romero, Olites & Alvarez, 2006)

After all the definitions mentioned, all the effects that this environmental problem
has brought in the last years and of course the major problem that had become
to our health, I can conclude that Quito is living now the consequences of the
high level pollution that we have. We need to figure it out or find some other
projects or activities that help to decrease this major problem, for example, cars
are the most contaminant factor in our city, we can find another way of
transportation to reduce chemical gases. Finally, we need to make awareness
about this problem, because for many people, it isnt important, but the
consequences one day or another will affect everybody especially in our health.

CORPAIRE. 2006b. Emisiones Anuales PM10 en: Inventario de Emisiones del
Distrito Metropolitano de Quito 2003. Quito-Ecuador.
Daz Surez, V., & Pez Prez, C. (2011). Contaminacin por material
particulado en Quito y caracterizacin qumica de las muestras. Revista Acta
Nova, 3(2).
FLACSO, MAE, PNUMA. (2008). Geo Ecuador 2008: Informe sobre el Estado
del Ambiente
Grisola, S. (2014). Contaminacion Atmosferica. IES

Romero Placeres, M., Diego Olite, F., & lvarez Toste, M. (2006). La
contaminacin del aire: su repercusin como problema de salud. Revista
cubana de higiene y epidemiologia, 44(2), 0-0.
WHO, (2013). World Health Organization. Mental Health: a well-being status.
Yassi A, Kjellstrom T, de Kok T, Guidotti. Salud Ambiental Bsica (versin al
espaol realizada en el INHEM). Mxico DF. PNUMA. 2002.