Environmental alert in Santiago

Published: Tuesday 31 July 2007

Chilean cities: Hazy view A ir pollution in the cities of Santiago and Chilln in Chile recently reached an extreme with cold winter conditions and lack of wind. Chilln, a city known for its skiing and thermal baths, now ranks as the fourth most contaminated city in Chile.

In Santiago, an environmental alert was issued on June 27, the fifteenth of its kind over the past six weeks. An air-quality pre-emergency situation is expected to be declared soon as per the country's National Environmental Center's Atmospheric Analysis Laboratory. The cold weather and poor air quality have also caused a sharp increase in incidences of respiratory illnesses among Santiago residents.

The main cause of air pollution in Chilln is the use of wood-burning stoves about 62 per cent of all households in Chilln use firewood as their main source of heating. Many people did not use environment-friendly firewood, preferring less expensive wood that doesn't burn fully.Others wet their firewood before burning it, believing it would generate more warmth, but it only causes more pollution.

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