Pollution nearly double health limits

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 09:24 20/07/2012
Christchurch smog July 18, 2012
John Kirk-Anderson
CHOKING: Smog hangs low over the city.

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Christchurch's pollution reached nearly double the guideline maximum yesterday.

Yesterday was the 18th day of polluted air recorded in the city this year and the highest level recorded this winter by Environment Canterbury.

Air pollution is considered high when the daily concentration of tiny particulates is greater than 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air, as measured from midnight to midnight.

A Woolston monitoring station in King Edward Tce yesterday recorded 94mcg, nearly double the guideline maximum.

A monitoring station in Coles Pl, St Albans, recorded 81mcg.

On Wednesday, the Christchurch air shed recorded a pollution level of 77mcg, the second highest of the year.

By this time last year, Christchurch had recorded 18 days of high air pollution.

Monitoring stations in Rangiora, Kaiapoi, Ashburton, Waimate and Geraldine all recorded high pollution yesterday.

The highest reading was 131mcg in Timaru, which was the 25th day of polluted air this year.

The target for Canterbury was that by September 2016 there would be only three days a year considered as high pollution and only one a year by September 2020.

Health guidelines have now been exceeded on the following dates in Christchurch:
                            St Albans     Woolston                         
May 8                           43          73  
May 24                         42          75
May 30                         55          53   
June  2                         52          44
June  3                         44          51  
June  5                         59          66        
June  8                         47          62      
June 10                        76          59    
June 11                        46          60  
June 21                        53          36
July 7                           53          60                                                                                                          
July 8                           57          60         
July 9                           62          68
July 10                         75          66
July 11                         44          62
July 13                         26          55
July 18                         51          77
July 19                         81          94

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- The Press

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