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A research work presented to

Ms. Mercurio

Biological Sciences Department

De La Salle ± Dasmariñas University

Dasmariñas, Cavite

Submitted as part fulfilment

of the requirement for the subject of

General Ecology with Advanced Technological


Application Lecture

Christine Dyan Rioja

OCTOBER 2010
  

 The City of Muntinlupa is the southernmost city in Philippine National Capital Region. It

is bordered on the north by Taguig City; to the northwest by Parañaque City; by Las Piñas

City to the west; to the southwest by the municipality of Bacoor, Cavite; by the municipality

of San Pedro, Laguna; and by Laguna de Bay to the east, the largest lake in the country. It is

classified as a Highly Urbanized City with a population of more than 400,000 and is given the

nickname "Emerald City of the Philippines" by the tourism establishment. But with the city¶s

growth and urbanization, comes the various problems that is encountering today. One of which is

air pollution.

Every day, an average person inhales about 20,000 liters of air. Every time we breathe,

we put ourselves into the risk of inhaling dangerous chemicals or particles that have found their

way into the air and then eventually into our lungs. This phenomenon is called air pollution.

Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological

materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms. Air pollution

includes all contaminants found in the atmosphere. These dangerous substances can be either in

the form of gases or particles. It can also be the cause of damage to the natural

environment present in our atmosphere. The atmosphere is a complex dynamic natural gaseous

system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air

pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the

Earth's ecosystems. (http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0856526.html)


      

The sources of air pollution are both natural and human-based. As one might expect,

humans have been producing increasing amounts of pollution as time has progressed, and they

now account for the majority of pollutants released into the air. The burning of petroleum

products is a very common cause of air pollution, especially in metropolitan areas. This pollution

comes from chemical factors present when these fuels combust. When hydrocarbons such as

gasoline are burned, they produce carbon dioxide and water vapor. Incomplete combustion leads

to carbon monoxide also being created as a by product. (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-causes-

air-pollution.htm)

In the case of Muntinlupa, It can be easily determined that one of the major causes of air

pollution, is the over populated vehicles running through the busy streets of the city every day.

The smoke and chemicals present on it, that are emitted by the vehicles contains hydrocarbons

and nitrogen oxide, which combine to form smog; particulate matter that is harmful to lungs; and

carbon monoxide, which is formed from the combustion of gas.The latter blocks oxygen's

circulation in the body, a particular risk for the very young and very old. More than half of the

cancers traced to air pollution are caused by a car's hazardous pollutants. In the atmosphere,

substances like carbon dioxide, produced from the burning of gasoline in a car's engine,

contribute greatly to the greenhouse effect and debilitating climate change.

Not only cars contribute to the problem that is faced by the city today; majority of the

locals of Muntinlupa contribute to air pollution by smoking. The air pollution emitted by

cigarettes is 10 times greater than what is being emitted by diesel powered cars. Environmental

tobacco smoke is a contributor of air pollution particles. These fine particles are a risk factor for
chronic lung disease which can be debilitating and sometimes fatal. They can lead to conditions

such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, and are also a risk for lung cancer.

     

Based on the several interviews made by the researcher, one of the alarming effects of the

growing problem on air pollution on Muntinlupa city is the dangers and hazards that it brings to

the health of the locals in the said community. When asked, what are the effects that air pollution

brings them, many of them answered that they¶ve contracted diseases such as cough, flu, asthma,

and some other lung diseases. According to a report made by the World Health Organization,

two million people die from air pollution every year; and in the Philippines, around eighty-seven

thousand a year. The report also indicated that that more than half of the burden from air

pollution on human health is borne by people on developing countries.

   

The municipality government of Muntinlupa may not have strictly enforced their laws

regarding a clean air act that¶s why the problem concerning air pollution has worsened. But

there are a plethora of solutions in order to lessen or control the damage that has been done to the

environment, as well to the citizens living in around the city. One way is to dampen the car's

impact on air pollution. Driving less with the use of smaller electric vehicles, bikes or public

transportation will be of huge help to lessen the effects of pollution. Another help would be using

alternative fuels and energy sources, like bio fuels and solar-panelled energy source. Planting
trees will also be of huge help to minimize the amount of carbon dioxide in present in the air.

   

While off-putting air pollution completely is beyond our control, we do have the smart

option to help prevent the situation from getting worst. Even with our own little ways, we could

still contribute in lessening the air pollution not only for the benefit of our country but for the

whole world. Let us act now before it becomes too late.