Why to have Air Pollution Management System

Why to have Air Pollution Management System

Why to have Air Pollution Management System for Food and Beverage Industries in Myanmar?

Source – SUSTENT Consulting Pvt. Ltd

Myanmar, like other developing countries, is facing a double burden of indoor and outdoor air pollution. With rapid development, Myanmar has been experiencing a rise in air pollution in urban areas. Food and Beverage small and medium enterprises form the major proportion of industrial sector in Myanmar. In Food and beverage enterprises, PM and VOCs are the major concern which not only impact the human health but also affect the working efficiency of workers. Hence, this calls for the need of air pollution management system in Food and beverage enterprises which is further discussed in section below:

Figure 4: Need to Improve Air Quality

Source: STENUM Asia

5.3 Air Quality Status in Myanmar

Myanmar is facing a double burden of indoor and outdoor air pollution. Presently too, in many households, cooking fuels such as kerosene, wood, crop waste are being used contributing to indoor air pollution. Such fuels cause high exposure to pollutants within the household, particularly for women, children, the elderly1.

Based on World Health Organisation (WHO) (2011), the cities of Yangon and Mandalay are noted to have one of the highest PM10 concentration above the limit of 50 µm which is set as the national ambient quality standard for PM10 concentration4 (Figure-1) While sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide air concentrations fortunately remain below WHO standards, particulate matter (PM) concentrations in urban areas are already at alarming levels. Also, according to Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF), 2010, the prevalent use of biomass, particularly charcoal, Cow dung and crop waste for household cooking and heating, contributes to the high levels of particulate matter in the air5.

Figure 5: Annual PM10 (µm) generation from the cities in Southeast Asia

Source: Achieving Environmental Sustainability in Myanmar by David Raitzer, Jindra Nuella Samson, Kee-Yung Nam.

4WHO. 2019. Preventing harmful effects of air pollution. WHO Myanmar newsletter special: 9 May 2019.

5Raitzer, D., Samson, J.N. and Nam, K.Y., 2015. Achieving environmental sustainability in Myanmar. Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper Series, (467).

Do you Know?

According to the WHO, 2007 in Myanmar6

  • 11590 deaths occurred due to Acute lower respiratory infections attributed to solid fuel use
  • 3070 deaths occurred due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) attributed to solid fuel use

6World Health Organization. Indoor Air Pollution: National Burden of Disease Estimates; WHO: Geneva, Switzerland, 2007.

5.4 Industrial Air Pollution Risks on Environment and Human Health

  • Air pollution impacts the surrounding environment by damaging the crops and forests due to release of poisonous gaseous fumes from the industries.
  • Furthermore, the in release of gaseous pollutants like Particulate matter, SOx, NOx and black carbon in the atmosphere from the industrial smokestack or chimneys deteriorate the ambient air quality resulting in climate change as these pollutants have either cooling or warming effect in atmosphere.
  • Air pollution also contributes to global burden of disease including respiratory, dermatological, and ophthalmic health problems.
  • Human health is highly affected due to occupational exposure which tend to decrease the productivity of workers and expose them to unhygienic conditions.
  • The health problems ranges from acute to chronic disease and even can cause cancer and death depending upon the size and chemical composition of the air pollutants including soot, smoke and particulate matter8.
  • PM5 (Particulate matter having diameter less than 2.5 µm) can be trapped deep into lungs due to its small size and can cause serious respiratory issues and even death7.

Do you Know?

According to the WHO, in the year 2000, over 1.5 million deaths were caused by indoor air pollution3.


Figure 6: Effects of Indoor Air Pollution

Source: Tips to control indoor air quality

7Kampa and Castanas. (2007). Human Health effects of air pollution. Environmental Pollution, 151(2). 362-367.

8Eiguren-Fernandez, A., Shinyashiki, M., Schmitz, D.A., DiStefano, E., Hinds, W., Kumagai, Y., Cho, A.K. and Froines, J.R., 2010. Redox and electrophilic properties of vapor-and particle-phase components of ambient aerosols. Environmental research, 110(3), pp.207-212.