Air Pollution


Byline: Cerge M. Remonde

98 percent of residents in Metro Manila are affected by air pollution and 50 percent want to move to a less polluted place, according to the latest results released from an Asian air pollution survey by global market research company Synovate.

The study, involving over 4,500 respondents across major cities in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand, examined residents perceptions of air pollution and their environmental concerns.

Managing Director of Synovate Philippines, Carole Sarthou, said the results of the survey demonstrated that residents believe air pollution is having a significant impact on their lives and the problem was not improving.

With 98 percent of residents in Manila indicating they are affected by the air pollution and 71 percent believing that the air quality has worsened over the past year, air pollution is clearly a significant problem for a very large proportion of the population.

"The air pollution is affecting people in many different ways, with 82 percent of respondents indicating that they were experiencing irritation to their eyes, nose, and throat, 57 percent breathless or having more difficulties in breathing, and 27 percent attributing skin problems to the pollution," Ms. Sarthou said.

Air pollution is also having an impact upon peoples emotional lives, with 62 percent of residents in Manila worrying about the living environment for children and 40 percent feeling depressed due to the air pollution.

Of those respondents affected by air pollution, 50 percent indicated that it made them want to move to a less polluted place.

"The survey reveals that residents in Manila arent just being affected by the air pollution in a physical manner, but that is also having a perceived effect on their emotional lives. This is a real cost, both in terms of increased medical bills and standard of living," Ms. Sarthou said.

"As a result, people are now willing to make sacrifices to improve their lives through reduced air pollution and they are also eager to see more done to encourage a better environment. …

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