2009/08/12

Pollution on Santiago

I am sick. I was very tired before I went to Pucon, and since I came back to Santiago I have headaches and pain in the eyes, and I feel exhausted, whether I sleep 6 hours or 10 hours a night, and I find it hard to concentrate on any non-technical work.

A colleague complains about having a cold, and points to several other ones having colds as well. I do NOT have a cold, my nose is not running, my throat is sore but without any glaires. And after asking my colleague for his symptoms, I don't think he has a cold either, it just seems that people cannot think that the pollution is making them sick, because that would make them think about leaving Chile and/or Santiago.

Typing "Contaminacion Santiago Chile" in Google yields various interesting articles (in Spanish), each of them mentioning that Santiago is the second most poluted city in Latin America, and one of the most polluted of earth, one of them (http://www.soitu.es/soitu/2008/07/04/info/1215188220_148075.htm ) predicting the worst for 2010, next year. Yet this is not a new problem: the sesarch returns also articles from 2006 with titles such as "Santiago de Chile: el peor aire de América Latina". I am supposed to go and visit some appartment in a less polluted part of Santiago, but I don't hope for major improvements: the place where work is polluted, the center where I go shopping is polluted, and moving to sleep to the east side of the city will not change the fact that I spend two third of my life having headaches...

3 comments:

bennyben said...

Santiago don't seem to general a lot of smog but is a special case of "thermal inversion" that concentrate the pollution...

You can find details here :
http://www.conama.cl/rm/568/articles-29215_pdf.pdf
As a comparison, for Paris :
http://www.airparif.asso.fr/airparif/pdf/statATMO2008.pdf

But if you see this map :
http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMZVKZ990E_Belgium_fr_1.html

We can see it's only for the city of Santiago, while it's worse for the entire countries of Belgium, Netherlands and US...

So what's the solution ?
You can always go to a posh area or outside the city where you'll have better air. But all people that don't have much money have to stay in the smog.
You have to protect you, but I think it's much better to communicate and act against smog and mass consumption !

jyby said...

I will read more. Yet those studies date from 2003 and 2004, and according to http://blogs.elmercurio.com/editorial/2009/05/18/gnl-y-contaminacion.asp it seems that it dates from the time where the pollution was reducing in Santiago: that's not true anymore...

Katyucha said...

raaah, your pdf is in spanish :(