Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry says air quality returning to normal

Ministry says air quality returning to normal

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Ministry of Environment said PM2.5 concentration, a major indicator of air quality, was still over 50 but dropping. Hean Rangsey

Ministry says air quality returning to normal

After issuing a warning over the country’s air quality on Friday, the Ministry of Environment said on Sunday that the PM2.5 concentration levels in the country were returning to normal.

PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres, which is about three per cent of the diameter of a single human hair.

If inhaled, these particles can make their way into the lungs and even blood vessels, eventually causing damage to the body.

The ministry’s secretary of state and spokesman Neth Pheaktra said on Sunday that PM2.5 concentration, a major indicator of air quality, was still over 50 but dropping.

The ministry does not follow an international standard for defining air quality but lists a PM2.5 reading of 50 as the level at which concerns arise.

“According to the ministry, the air quality in the capital and the provinces seems to be returning to normal, with PM2.5 at just over 50,” he said, noting that particles in the air were now 10 times smaller than a strand of hair.

Pheaktra said ministry experts will continue to monitor the air quality situation and inform the public of any development. He said citizens who spend a lot of time outside should wear protective masks.

He noted that PM2.5 concentrations were rising across theregion as the climate dries.

A ministry press release on Friday warned the public about rising levels of pollution across the country. It said the main sources and activities that caused PM2.5 levels to increase were rising plumes of smoke from industrial factories, diesel-powered vehicles and forest fires.

Burning grass, rice stubble and solid waste in open locations and at dumpsites and construction sites also contributed to the problem.

On Friday, the ministry also announced a strategy to tackle the pollution, instructing environmental departments in the capital and provinces to work together to implement it.

As part of the plan, the environmental departments were asked to cooperate to stop forest fires and waste incineration in open locations and dumpsites and reduce the amount of dust coming from construction sites.

Officers were also asked to instruct residents to stop burning rubbish, solid waste, grass, rice stubble and other agricultural waste.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this