6 Findings From NEPA’s Air Quality Report On Riverton Fire 2018

Image from NEPA: RIVERTON FIRE AUGUST 2018 REPORT

It seems like a recurring conversation.

Fire at the Riverton dump.

We now have a fourth published report by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) into fires at the Riverton dump, relating to fires in 2012, 2014, 2015 and now 2018.

Here are six quick findings from the report,

1. There was a negative impact on the ambient air quality in Kingston and St. Andrew, as well as parts of St. Catherine, including Portmore and Spanish Town.

2. Forty six (46) pollutants were detected from the analyses conducted on VOC samples; thirty four (34) were detected above the lower concentration limit (0.2μg/m3).

The results of the analysis indicate higher than normal concentrations of benzene and toluene. The recorded benzene concentration was 41μg/m3 at the Spanish Town Road location. This is approximately 2.5 times the highest benzene concentration detected during the 2015 fire at the RSWDS (15.3μg/m3). The highest recorded concentration for toluene of 30μg/m3 was just over 2.5 times the 11.2μg/m3 concentration recorded during the 2015 fire at the RSWDS.

Benzene? Learn, more about the bad things that happen when benzene is in the air.

Toluene? Learn, more about the why toluene is bad for you here.

Fire raging at the Riverton City Dump in St Andrew, Image courtesy of the Jamaica Star http://jamaica-star.com/article/news/20180729/riverton-fire-again

3. The WHO 24-hour limit (25μg/m3) for PM2.5 was exceeded. The highest average daily concentration of PM2.5 (40.58 μg/m3) recorded at the Spanish Town, St. Catherine monitoring station during the period under review was on day three of the fire. The WHO 24-hour guideline limit for PM2.5 was also exceeded at the Duhaney Park monitoring location. The highest recorded concentration was 43.28μg/m3 on August 3, 2018.

What is PM2.5? Why is it bad for you? Read more about it here.

4. Seven (7) exceedances of the 1-hour NO2 guideline limit were observed over the period on August 4 and 5, 2018. The highest recorded NO2 concentration was 730.2μg/m3 on August 4, 2018.

NO2? Say no to NO2, read more about why this gas is bad for you here.

5. Results indicate possible health impact especially to sensitive groups.

6. Results of the monitoring also indicated impact on air quality as a result of the Saharan Dust thereby increasing the recorded particulate matter concentrations.

See more… 5 Findings From NEPA’s Air Quality Report On The Riverton Fire (2015)

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