Published On: Mon, Jun 2nd, 2014

Sulfur pollution in the Kingdom continues

BethCHaimKasChikituSO2mei2014WILLEMSTAD - The sulfur dioxide concentrations in the smoke coming out of the refinery has reached astronomical heights in the month of May. This is according to the environmental organization SMOC, which opposes the pollution on the island.

According to the environmental standards of the World Health Organization, is a 24 - hour average of more than 20 g/m3 very harmful to health. The old standard license in Curacao is 80 g/m3. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is a gas that is formed during the combustion processes of mainly fossil fuels.

The main emissions come from power plants, refineries, traffic and industry. Emissions go in the air, but also come from atmospheric deposition of sulfur dioxide in the soil or water. Sulfur dioxide can be converted into sulfuric acid when it’s in the air, soil or water in, and thus contributes to the acidification.

Sulfur dioxide is very toxic by inhalation and may cause cancer. It is irritating to the eyes and the respiratory system. Sulfur dioxide in the air is detrimental to the health, especially for COPD patients. Even in healthy people dioxide can cause respiratory diseases and cause damage to the lung tissue.

As the graph shows, even the weaker environmental norms in Curacao are exceeded almost daily.

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