THE SHWEDAGON Pagoda was our first stop on a mission to gather data on air quality in various locations across Yangon, which began one Sunday morning in late March. The air quality in the commercial capital seemed to have deteriorated throughout the hot season, and we wanted to know how bad it was and what was contributing to it.
The Shwedagon is one of the most visited sites in the country and it is especially busy on Sunday mornings. As we walked through the crowd, we checked the air quality on our hand-held monitor, an AirBeam2, which has sensors that can record particulate matter, one of the five major pollutants.
We wanted to gather data on the hazardous, microscopic particles known as PM2.5 that are a cause of respiratory and cardiovascular ailments. The World Health Organization says PM2.5 should not exceed an average of 10 microgrammes per cubic metre of air a year, or an average of 25 µg/m3 a day.
Zaw Win Htet and Eaint Thet Su