air pollution - updates

Rappler's latest stories on air pollution


Less air pollution means thousands fewer die

Apr 30, 2020 - 12:59 PM

(UPDATED) An unintended boon of shuttered factories and empty roads has been more breathable air

DISINFECT. Exterior cleaning contractor Malcolm Bennet from Flamingo Exterior Cleaning voluntarily disinfects the front of a cafe in Ayr town Centre on the west coast of Scotland on April 18, 2020 as life in Britain continues under lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 illness. Photo by Andy Buchanan/AFP

NASA images show fall in China pollution over virus shutdown

Mar 02, 2020 - 7:12 PM

Maps comparing NO2 concentrations show a marked decline between January 1-20, before a sweeping quarantine was imposed on Wuhan and other cities, and February 10-25

'PARTLY RELATED.' Photo from

Global economy losing $8 billion daily to air pollution from fossil fuels – Greenpeace

Feb 13, 2020 - 7:14 PM

In the Philippines, air pollution from fossil fuels – primarily coal, oil, and gas – is attributed to causing an estimated 27,000 premature deaths per year

Smog in Iran shuts schools, universities

Nov 30, 2019 - 9:38 PM

In Tehran, average concentrations of hazardous airborne particles reached 146 micrograms per cubic meter on November 30

SHUT DOWN. Schools in Tehran were ordered to be closed after the Iranian capital was cloaked in dangerously high levels of air pollution, authorities said. AFP file photo

Millions in Indian capital endure 'eye-burning' smog

Nov 04, 2019 - 1:38 PM

The current smog crisis is the worst in 3 years, and New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is calling for a range of measures to fight what he describes as 'unbearable pollution'

NEW DELHI SMOG. People make their way on a street in smoggy conditions in New Delhi on November 4, 2019. Photo by Prakash Singh/AFP

Air pollution in Metro Cebu back to normal levels

Sep 28, 2019 - 11:55 PM

The Central Visayas Environmental Management Bureau Air says pollution in Metro Cebu returns to normal

LIFTED. Air pollution in Metro Cebu is back down to normal levels. Photo by Ryan Macasero/Rappler

Indonesian forest fires putting 10 million children at risk – United Nations

Sep 24, 2019 - 4:06 PM

Almost 10 million people under 18 live in the areas worst affected by fires on Indonesia's Sumatra island and the country's part of Borneo island, UNICEF says

AIR POLLUTION PROBLEMS. A child wears a facemask as a thick haze blankets the sky over Banda Aceh on September 24, 2019, caused when Indonesian farmers use illegal slash-and-burn techniques to clear land for agriculture, spewing toxic haze across Southeast Asia. Photo by Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP

Indonesia haze reaches Metro Cebu

Sep 18, 2019 - 8:52 PM

The environment department recommends that residents minimize outdoor activity as air pollution in Cebu City is already above safe levels

HAZE. Haze seen from the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City. Photo by Ryan Macasero/Rappler

INFOGRAPHIC: A secret to productivity? Clean air

Sep 06, 2019 - 3:53 PM

An increasing number of studies are linking air pollution to lower cognition and poor concentration

[Right of Way] The city's most dangerous job?

Jul 12, 2019 - 3:42 PM

Road workers, such as traffic enforcers and street sweepers, face not only the hazards of getting run over by reckless motorists, but also long-term blood poisoning and hearing loss

Jakarta residents sue Indonesia government over air pollution

Jul 04, 2019 - 8:51 PM

Fed up with what they say is worsening air pollution, a group of 31 concerned residents has sued President Joko Widodo, as well as the ministry of environment and forestry, ministry of health, and Jakarta's governor

AIR POLLUTION. Jakarta has been shrouded in hazardous smog for much of the past month. File photo shows the sun rising over Jakarta, Indonesia. File photo by Bay Ismoyo/AFP

Lead found in MMDA traffic enforcers’ blood – study

Jun 11, 2019 - 7:00 AM

The study will justify granting traffic enforcers hazard pay, says a research team led by Emmanuel Baja of the National Institutes for Health-University of the Philippines Manila

HEALTH HAZARD. A study finds that traffic enforcers are prone to heart and lung problems due to exposure to air pollution.

Children in South Asia hardest hit by air pollution – study

Apr 03, 2019 - 5:02 PM

The State of Global Air report says air pollution is the fifth leading cause of early death worldwide – responsible for more deaths than malaria, road accidents, malnutrition or alcohol

A tale of two Delhis: Deadly air exposes rich poor divide

Mar 23, 2019 - 8:18 PM

Air pollution kills more than one million Indians every year, according to a study, and Delhi is ranked one of the most toxic urban centers to live

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 6, 2018 Indian labourers eat at a roadside food stall in the old quarters of New Delhi. For the well-heeled in New Delhi, eating out means enjoying a gourmet spread amid sprawling green spaces but the poor must deal with dust and toxic fumes from vehicles zipping past rickety roadside food stalls in the world's most polluted major city.  CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP

South Korea in airborne fight against 'Chinese' pollution

Jan 25, 2019 - 2:40 PM

Air quality in South Korea is generally better than in China, its giant neighbor and the world's biggest polluter

AIR POLLUTION. South Korean military conscripts wear face masks to protect themselves against a wave of fine dust that has hit the Korean Peninsula, during their entrance ceremony at the army training centre in Nonsan on January 14, 2019. Photo by Jung Yeon-je/AFP

Air pollution may be making us less intelligent

Dec 30, 2018 - 1:00 PM

Traffic pollution is associated with dementia, delinquent behavior in adolescents, and stunted brain development in children who attend highly polluted schools

HEALTH HAZARD. Long-term exposure to air pollution was linked to cognitive decline in elderly people. Tao55/ Shutterstock

[OPINION] Breathing out coal: How victims of the climate can be its protectors

Oct 17, 2018 - 6:06 PM

'Only by shifting away from dirty energy – the leading cause of climate change – can Filipinos truly move from being tagged as victims of the climate towards being known as its protectors'

Study shows air pollution linked to higher risk of dementia

Sep 19, 2018 - 11:10 AM

The medical journal BMJ Open publishes a study which says chemicals cast off by tailpipe pollution are associated with an increased risk of dementia

SMOG. File photo shows students wearing face masks walking across the street in a line in Jinan, in east China's Shandong province amongst heavy air pollution on December 24, 2015. Photo by AFP

[OPINION] Tax carbon emitters, use new revenue for health care

Aug 23, 2018 - 8:57 AM

Will our lawmakers seize this golden opportunity or will they resign us to a future of unintended consequences?

Air pollution deaths 3rd highest in PH

Jul 25, 2018 - 7:52 PM

Health experts urge the government to develop a plan to improve air quality as about 45.3 of 100,000 Filipinos die due to air pollution

THICK HAZE. A blanket of haze covers Metro Manila. File photo by Rappler

The week in photos: July 7-13, 2018

Jul 14, 2018 - 12:11 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

VIVE LA FRANCE. A France fan cheers before the Russia 2018 World Cup semi-final football match between France and Belgium at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on July 10, 2018. Photo by Christophe Simon/AFP

9 out of 10 people breathing polluted air – WHO

May 02, 2018 - 9:05 AM

'Air pollution threatens us all, but the poorest and most marginalized people bear the brunt of the burden,' World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says in a statement

SMOG. A man wearing a mask visits a park amid heavy air pollution in Beijing on December 20, 2016. File photo by Wang Zhao/AFP

German court paves way for diesel driving bans

Feb 28, 2018 - 7:50 AM

A top German court rules that cities can impose diesel driving bans to combat air pollution

RUSH HOUR. Early morning traffic makes its way on the motorway in Munich, southern Germany, of November 7, 2017. Christof Stache/AFP

Pollution killed 9 million people in 2015 – report

Oct 20, 2017 - 8:57 AM

In rapidly-industrializing countries such as India, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Madagascar, and Kenya, pollution can account for as many as 1 in 4 deaths

SMOG. A man wearing a mask visits the Forbidden City in Beijing on December 21, 2016. File photo by Wang Zhao/AFP

Delhi braces for pollution 'airpocalypse' as smog looms

Oct 19, 2017 - 12:59 PM

Last year's unprecedented pollution disaster saw heavy smog hover above the capital for weeks, forcing schools to shut as authorities scrambled to contain the crisis

HAZY DAY. This file photo taken on October 31, 2016 shows an Indian cyclist riding on a street as smog envelops a monument in New Delhi, the day after the Diwali festival. Money Sharma/AFP

Volkswagen CEO faces first probe over 'dieselgate'

May 17, 2017 - 10:50 PM

Matthias Mueller and others allegedly delayed telling Porsche SE shareholders of the financial consequences of the software manipulation by Volkswagen AG

BARRAGE OF LAWSUITS. This file photo taken on January 10, 2016 shows Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Mueller during a press event in Detroit, Michigan. File photo by Jewel Samad/AFP

China tightens smog data controls amid public anger

Feb 08, 2017 - 2:16 PM

It comes after the national Meteorological Administration last month ordered local meteorological bureaus to stop issuing haze alerts raising suspicions the government was attempting to suppress information about the chronic problem

This picture taken on June 23, 2015 shows a woman riding an electric bike in smog covered Beijing. File/AFP

Oslo temporarily bars diesel cars to combat pollution

Jan 16, 2017 - 8:39 PM

Motorists violating the ban to begin Tuesday will be fined 1 500 kroner 166 euros 176

Many Metro Manila cities 'severely polluted' during early hours of 2017

Jan 04, 2017 - 7:45 PM

Initial reports from the DENR show that 6 Metro Manila cities registered extremely dangerous levels of PM2 5 at the start of the new year

File photo from Shutterstock

Choking smog clears from northern China

Dec 22, 2016 - 8:15 PM

A cold wind from the northwest arrives on Thursday December 22 blowing away the toxic pollution

A man wearing a mask visits the Forbidden City in Beijing on December 21, 2016.  Beijing issued its first air pollution red alert for 2016 on December 15, with choking smog expected to cover the city and surrounding areas in north China until December 21. / AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO

China's smoggiest city closes schools amid public anger

Dec 21, 2016 - 5:20 PM

3rd UPDATE Officials in Shijiazhuang draw flak for not immediately suspending children s classes and for making suspensions in middle and high schools voluntary

A man wearing a mask visits a park amid heavy air pollution in Beijing on December 20, 2016.  Beijing issued its first air pollution red alert for 2016 on December 15, with choking smog expected to cover the city and surrounding areas in north China until December 21. / AFP PHOTO / WANG ZHAO

Paris winter pollution worst in 10 years – official

Dec 07, 2016 - 7:33 PM

The peak is due to the combination of emissions from vehicles and from domestic wood fires as well as near windless conditions – meaning pollutants have not been dispersed

PARIS AIR POLLUTION. A picture taken on December 5, 2016 from the Montparnasse tower shows a view of Paris in the smog. Photo by Thomas Samson/ AFP

German prosecutors extend 'dieselgate' probe to Volkswagen chairman

Nov 07, 2016 - 12:00 AM

Hans Dieter Poetsch is now under investigation over his previous role as Volkswagen s chief financial officer

(FILES) This file photo taken on December 10, 2015 shows Hans-Dieter Poetsch, supervisory board chairman of German carmaker Volkswagen, during a press conference in Wolfsburg, central Germany.  German prosecutors probing whether Volkswagen executives manipulated the markets in the wake of the "dieselgate" scandal have widened their investigation to include the chairman of the group's supervisory board, the auto giant said on November 6. / AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ

Delhi state smog draws 'gas chamber' comparison

Nov 06, 2016 - 8:32 AM

1 800 schools are shut following one of the city s worst ever pollution spells

AIR POLLUTION. An Indian biker wearing face protection against air pollution rides on the road in heavy smog in New Delhi on October 28, 2016. Photo by Dominique Faget / AFP

UK gov't loses High Court case on air pollution

Nov 02, 2016 - 9:53 PM

A judge rules in favor of the group s case declaring that the government s Air Quality Plan was unlawful and must be quashed and rewritten

AIR POLLUTION. A breathing mask is fixed to a statue of Queen Victoria in central London on 18 April 2016. File photo by Leon Neal/AFP

300 million children breathe heavily toxic air – UNICEF

Oct 31, 2016 - 8:58 AM

UPDATED Nearly one child in 7 around the globe breathes outdoor air that is at least 6 times dirtier than international guidelines

A woman walks with her child on a street as schools were closed due to the heavy smog in Jilin, northeast China's Jilin province on October 22, 2013. Stringer/File/AFP

India capital to install roadside air purifiers to cut smog

Oct 28, 2016 - 11:11 PM

We are planning to install air purifiers at 5 major intersections in Delhi to reduce pollution levels Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain says at a press conference

AIR POLLUTION. An Indian biker wearing face protection against air pollution rides on the road in heavy smog in New Delhi on October 28, 2016. Photo by Dominique Faget / AFP

Audi tech chief leaves after reports link him to 'dieselgate'

Sep 27, 2016 - 3:20 PM

Stefan Knirsch allegedly knew that Audi s 3 0 liter diesel engines had cheating software even before the scandal erupted

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 3, 2016 shows Stefan Knirsch, responsible for the technical development and member of the board of German car maker Audi, during his company's annual press conference in Ingolstadt, southern Germany.  Audi's head of technical development stepped down "with immediate effect" on September 26, 2016, the luxury carmaker announced, after German media accused him of involvement in parent company Volkswagen's "dieselgate" scandal. / AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE

Paris bans cars along part of River Seine to curb pollution

Sep 26, 2016 - 11:30 PM

The car ban applies to 3 3 kilometers of an expressway on the Right Bank of the Seine

A man walks on the banks of the River Seine during "day without cars" in Paris on Septembre 25, 2016. Paris city mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has made reducing Paris???s worryingly high pollution levels a top priority, said she hoped to introduce a regular citywide vehicle ban as pollution levels and noise levels registered as being lower. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE LOPEZ

Investors sue Volkswagen for 8.2B euros over 'dieselgate'

Sep 22, 2016 - 10:35 PM

The European Commission says Volkswagen has promised that all cars across the bloc will be fixed by autumn 2017

(FILES) This file photo taken on January 10, 2016 shows Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Mueller during a press event in Detroit, Michigan. German car giant Volkswagen is the target of 1,400 legal cases from investors claiming a total of 8.2 billion euros in compensation over its emissions cheating scandal, the state court in Brunswick said in a statement on September 21, 2016.  / AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD

Volkswagen engineer indicted in US emissions case

Sep 10, 2016 - 12:50 AM

James Liang helped develop the diesel engines equipped with defeat devices for some 500 000 Volkswagen cars sold in the United States

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 29, 2015 shows the logo of German car maker Volkswagen at a dealership in Woodbridge, Virginia. A US judge on August 25, 2016 gave German automaker Volkswagen until October 24 to come up with a fix for three-liter diesel engines rigged to cheat emissions tests, or face trial. Meanwhile, Volkswagen indicated it has reached a settlement deal in principle with US dealerships over diesel-cheat losses.  / AFP PHOTO / PAUL J. RICHARDS

Australia sues Volkswagen for millions over emissions cheating

Sep 01, 2016 - 11:15 PM

Volkswagen engaged in multiple breaches of the Australian consumer law says ACCC Chairman Rod Sims

A Volkswagen car is driven through Sydney's central business district on October 1, 2015. Australia's competition watchdog has warned that Volkswagen could be hit with up to Aus$1.1 million (US$780,000) in fines for each pollution-cheating device installed and in use in its cars in the country. AFP PHOTO/William WEST / AFP PHOTO / WILLIAM WEST

Volkswagen Korea head apologizes, questioned on emission fraud

Aug 12, 2016 - 12:15 AM

I am sorry for the situation and we will do everything faithfully to cooperate with the prosecutor CEO Johannes Thammer is quoted as saying

Johannes Thammer (C), CEO of Volkswagen Korea, is surrounded by journalists as he arrives at the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office in Seoul on August 11, 2016. The head of Volkswagen's South Korean unit apologised as he presented himself to state prosecutors for questioning over the German carmaker's emissions fraud scandal. / AFP PHOTO / YONHAP / YONHAP

South Korea suspends sale of 80 Volkswagen models

Aug 02, 2016 - 2:16 PM

The South Korean Environment Ministry also hands down a fine of 16 million against the German carmaker

epa05451523 South Korean Environment Ministry official Hong Dong-gon briefs the press on South Korea's sales ban and certification nullification for 80 Volkswagen vehicle models whose emissions results were fabricated at the Sejong government complex, south of Seoul, South Korea, 02 August 2016. The ministry also announced a 17.8 billion won (16 million US dollar) fine on the German automaker. EPA/YONHAP SOUTH KOREA OUT

Volkswagen net profit falls 57% in second quarter

Jul 28, 2016 - 9:15 PM

The carmaker s earnings in the second quarter of 2016 are weighed down by costs related to the diesel emissions cheating scandal

epa05442177 (FILE) A file dated 21 April 2016 shows a Volkswagen logo on a car in the lot of a VW dealership in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. According to news reports on 26 July 2016, a US federal judge gives preliminary approval to a 15 billion US dollar settlement over Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal in a deal that includes an option for owners to have the carmaker buy back their vehicles. VW admited on 2015 that it had cheated on its US exhaust tests. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

Volkswagen gets preliminary approval for US emissions settlement

Jul 27, 2016 - 3:00 PM

US District Judge Charles Breyer praises the enormous effort to settle the scandal and sets an October 18 deadline for final approval of the deal

epa05442175 (FILE) An archive picture made available on 23 June 2016 shows the US flag reflected in the hood of a Volkswagen (VW) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, 13 May 2009. According to news reports on 26 July 2016, a US federal judge gives preliminary approval to a 15 billion US dollar settlement over Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal in a deal that includes an option for owners to have the carmaker buy back their vehicles. VW's admited on 2015 that it had cheated on its US exhaust tests. EPA/FRISO GENTSCH

Volkswagen execs named in new emissions lawsuits

Jul 20, 2016 - 4:20 PM

Current Volkswagen CEO Matthias Mueller and his predecessor Martin Winterkorn are accused of being aware early on about the so called dieselgate scandal

epa05368860 Matthias Mueller, CEO of Volkswagen AG, at press conference at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany, 16 June 2016. The German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) introduced its strategy until the year of 2025. EPA/JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE

California rejects Volkswagen plan to fix 3-liter diesel cars

Jul 14, 2016 - 10:05 PM

The California Air Resources Board says the carmaker s proposed measures are substantially deficient and do not meet legal requirements

epa05271222 A Volkswagen automobile is seen in the lot of a VW dealership in Woodland Hills, California, USA, 21 April 2016. Media reports on 21 April state Volkswagen is to buy back cars in USA following emissions scandal, as part of an agreement with US regulators. VW representatives are to meet with US judicial authorities for a hearing at a federal court in San Francisco to discuss the issue on 21 April. EPA/MIKE NELSON

Record Volkswagen payout in US 'dieselgate' settlement

Jun 28, 2016 - 11:11 PM

UPDATED While this announcement is an important step forward let me be clear it is by no means the last says US Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates

VOLKSWAGEN SCANDAL. An employee looks through a pair of binoculars as he stands next to a corporate logo of Volkswagen (VW) on the rooftop of an office building of the German car manufacturer in Wolfsburg, Germany, September 25, 2015. Photo by Rainer Jensen/EPA

Scandal-hit Mitsubishi Motors eyes $1.4B loss

Jun 22, 2016 - 11:40 PM

The expected shortfall would be the company s first annual loss in 8 years

Mitsubishi Motors senior executive officers; corporate general manager of corporate planning Yoshihiko Kuroi (L) and corporate general manager of controlling and accounting Hiroshi Noda (R) hold a press briefing to announce the company's operating results forecasts for 2016 fiscal year in Tokyo on June 22, 2016. Mitsubishi Motors expects a net loss of 1.39 billion USD in the year to March, after a fuel-cheating scandal hammered its reputation and slammed the brakes on sales, it said June 22. / AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI