Clean-up act

Published: Saturday 15 April 2006

High levels of air pollution in Johannesburg in winters and the rising exhaust emissions on its roads has prompted the city to adopt stringent air-quality measures.

Atmospheric scientist Margot Richardson, who works in the city's department of development planning, transportation and environment, said that tests in Johannesburg during winter found 180 microgrammes a cubic metre of particulate matter in the air, way above international standards of 75 microgrammes a cubic metre.

Richardson claims fossil fuel burnt in coal stoves for domestic heating was largely responsible for the pollution. These, she added, lead to a range of respiratory and heart problems, particularly among the young and the elderly.

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