Mes: agosto 2019

Contaminación atmosférica: El enemigo invisible

Según datos brindados por la Organización Mundial de la Salud, Cochabamba, que en algún momento supo ser conocida como “ciudad jardín” hoy presenta uno de los niveles de contaminación más altos de la región, principalmente en cuanto a contaminación atmosférica se refiere, superando incluso las de grandes ciudades como Santiago de Chile, San Pablo o Lima. Entre las principales sustancias que dañan el aire se destacan hollín y polvo, plomo, arsénico, óxidos de nitrógeno, plomo y dióxido de azufre entre muchos otros, las cuales, lejos de disminuir sus niveles, aumentan a diario dañando severamente nuestra salud.

Principales causas.

Las fuentes que causan los altos niveles de esmog en el aire son variadas y difícilmente pueda definirse cual de ellos es el principal. Según encuestas realizadas por diferentes entidades dedicadas a combatir esta problemática, se ha determinado que para una gran parte de la población la principal responsabilidad recae sobre el parque automotor, al cual se le atribuye hasta un 90% de la generación de sustancias contaminantes,  sin embargo, especialistas destacan otras fuentes de contaminación de igual relevancia, como por ejemplo la ausencia de políticas ambientales efectivas, emisión de gases provenientes de la industria, principalmente la industria ladrillera y la constante generación de focos de incendio en la región del Parque Tunari.

Otro factor de gran relevancia para el aumento de contaminación en el aire es la propia ubicación geográfica y su topografía. Al tratarse de un valle cerrado por la cordillera del Tunari y las serranías de San Pedro y San Miguel, sumada a la constante tala de árboles y escasa vegetación, no se produce la misma cantidad de viento que los valles abiertos, lo que aporta a la concentración de gases, polvo y demás material contaminante.

¿Qué es la Red MoniCA?

La Red de Monitoreo de la Calidad del Aire en Cochabamba, también conocida como Red MoniCa, es una red de monitoreo instantáneo de cuatro estaciones, cada uno de ellos ubicado en un punto estratégico de la ciudad (Avenida Heroínas y Atahualpa, zona norte;  Av 6 de agosto, zona sud; la base de la Fuerza Aerea Militar y Coña Coña, en el oeste de la ciudad) el cual, según un informe realizado por Los Tiempos Digital el año 2016 a sus responsables, realiza una medición de la calidad del aire con un registro cada cuatro segundos, mediante un equipo para material particulado que mide y analiza los niveles de monóxido de carbono, con metodología infrarroja, y óxido de nitrógeno por medio de quimioluminiscencia, que permite además, conocer los índices de PM10, material constituido por partículas de suspensión como el polvo, condensación de hidrocarburos proveniente de automotores y humo de tabaco. El reporte es continuo y está conectado a un sistema central que determina los resultados cada 15 minutos.

Cochabamba es la primera ciudad en Bolivia y la tercera en Latinoamérica en contar con una red de monitoreo y análisis instantáneo, y gracias a su optimo funcionamiento y resultado, se ha desarrollado una aplicación para smartphones, llamada Aire Cochabamba que funciona con la misma tecnología y que permite, mediante una gama diferenciada de colores, determinar, además de la calidad del aire, la cantidad de radiación UV en el lugar en el que se encuentra el usuario, el cual es precisado a través de la red GPS.

Este sistema de medición indica, según Los Tiempos, que el índice promedio de contaminación en nuestro departamento ronda entre los 100 y los 200 µg/m3 (Microgramo por metro cúbico), aunque en algunas ocasiones y fechas especiales, como en casos de incendio forestal o el día posterior a la festividad de San Juan, estos índices suelen alcanzar hasta los 250 µg/m3, cuando, según la OMS, el máximo permisible no debe superar los 50 µg/m3.

Consecuencias y medidas preventivas

Según la Organización Mundial de la Salud, entre las principales consecuencias a la salud que puede provocar estos altos niveles de contaminación en el aire pueden provocar problemas a corto plazo, como dolores de garganta, irritación ocular, dificultad respiratoria e incluso, algunos daños significativos en la piel. Por otra parte, dentro de las patologías crónicas a causa de la contaminación, pueden señalarse enfermedades cardiacas, tumores malignos, neumonía, enfermedades cerebrovasculares y pulmonares crónicas.

Para combatir los altos niveles de contaminación atmosférica, algunos países como México o Alemania, han optado por realizar un control riguroso sobre el parque automotor, a fin de reducir la emisión de gases que estos provocan. Si bien en nuestro país y sobre todo en Cochabamba, también existen normas no solo de control vehicular, sino también medidas disciplinarias en contra de los incendios o contra el uso de pirotecnia, al no contar con medios ni formas de control exhaustivo, muchas personas ignoran o simplemente, deciden hacer caso omiso de las mismas.

Es importante mejorar nuestra cultura ambiental y reconocer cuales son aquellos actos cotidianos que afectan negativamente al medio ambiente, para de este modo adoptar nuevos hábitos y costumbre, que nos ayuden a cuidar la ciudad, el país y el mundo en el que vivimos.

 

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Aceite de cocina usado: Efectos y posibles soluciones.

Todo el tiempo escuchamos consejos sobre la importancia de alimentarse de manera saludable y evitar la comida frita, pero siendo sinceros ¿Quién puede resistirse a un buen plato de pollo a la broaster acompañado por unas deliciosas papas fritas? Diariamente miles de personas en nuestro departamento consumen frituras, ya sea en sus hogares, restaurantes y […]

Todo el tiempo escuchamos consejos sobre la importancia de alimentarse de manera saludable y evitar la comida frita, pero siendo sinceros ¿Quién puede resistirse a un buen plato de pollo a la broaster acompañado por unas deliciosas papas fritas? Diariamente miles de personas en nuestro departamento consumen frituras, ya sea en sus hogares, restaurantes y carritos de comida, pero ¿alguna vez se ha puesto a pensar a donde van a parar los cientos y cientos de litros de aceite que se utilizan para prepararlas?

Estudios han demostrado que solo 1 litro de aceite vegetal desechado puede contaminar hasta mil litros de agua solo con el contacto, y solo en Cochabamba se desechan 5200 metros cúbicos  de aceite anualmente, que contaminan los distintos ríos y lagunas. En el siguiente artículo, usted aprenderá a deshacerse del aceite usado en sus cocinas de manera responsable evitando así sus graves consecuencias para el medio ambiente.

¿Cómo y dónde desechar el aceite usado?

Según datos ofrecidos por la OMS, el aceite de cocina empleado para preparar alimentos que superen los 180° de cocción, debe ser utilizado una sola vez y luego ser desechado, ya que a esta temperatura el aceite se quema y resulta altamente perjudicial para la salud, sin embargo, son muy pocos los puestos de comida que cumplen esta regla, utilizando muchas veces la misma carga de aceite en toda una jornada laboral. Sin embargo, tanto estos  pequeños puestos como los grandes restaurantes que si cumplen la norma y amas de casa tienen que desechar el aceite utilizado en algún momento y es entonces cuando surge la pregunta ¿Cómo hacerlo sin dañar el medio ambiente?

Una de las principales vías de desecho de aceite de cocina que suelen utilizar, sobre todo a nivel residencial, son cañerías y alcantarillados. Gran parte del aceite que entra en contacto con ríos y lagos, contaminándolos, llegan proveniente de inodoros y lavabos, siendo estas las formas más fácil de deshacerse de este material, lo cual puede causar, además del grave impacto ambiental, tapado de cañerías y tuberías ya que el aceite desechado se pega a las paredes de las mismas, reduciendo su diámetro e imposibilitando el curso libre del líquido elemento.

Para evitar estas consecuencias, la Alcaldía de Cochabamba, en colaboración con la Secretaría de Desarrollo Humano y la Empresa Municipal de Servicios de Aseo (EMSA), han elaborado un proyecto de recolección y acopio de aceite usado. Este proyecto consta en la instalación de diferentes centros de acopio de este material contaminante. El primer centro de acopio que ya se encuentra en funcionamiento desde el año pasado, está ubicado en la Comuna Adela Zamudio, más precisamente en la Avenida Uyuni, entre Potosi y Puente Recoleta y funciona todos los días, incluyendo fines de semana, en horarios de oficina. Este centro recibe además de aceite, residuos electrónicos, otro material altamente contaminante.

Otra opción propuesta por los responsables del proyecto consiste en la recolección a través de los carros basureros, para de este modo evitar tener que aproximarse personalmente hasta el centro. Para esto se recomienda entregar el material en envases desechables a los responsables del carro basurero, separada y diferenciada del resto de los residuos.

Para el caso de los grandes restaurantes y puestos de comida, el proyecto busca promover una campaña de recolección responsable de aceite usado, en el que se busca que los grandes restaurantes y cadenas de comida rápida que desechan diariamente cantidades industriales de aceite, la reúnan en recipientes desechables (botellas, bidones, envases de vidrio) que serán recolectados por los encargados de los centros de acopio.

El aceite recolectado y depositado será trasportado y manipulado de manera responsable y con los cuidados necesarios para su reutilización y fabricación de nuevos productos. En Cochabamba, por ejemplo, empresas como Richter SRL que trabajan en la fabricación de jabones de uso casero fabricados a partir de aceite usado, quemado y en descomposición. Por su parte, otras empresas como Greenside se encargan de la recolección y almacenamiento de este residuo para su posterior exportación a Europa, donde se le realiza el debido tratamiento para la fabricación de biodiesel.

Para obtener mayor información al respecto sobre cómo y dónde depositar el aceite que ya no le sirva, lo invitamos a contactarse con los siguientes números de teléfono:

En caso de no poder aproximarse personalmente a los centros de acopio, las empresas mencionadas ofrecen servicio de recolección del material a domicilio, ya sea en su hogar o puesto de comidas.

Para mantenerse informado sobre cuidado del medio ambiente y demás consejos sobre el manejo responsable de residuos de todo tipo, no olvide darle me gusta a nuestra Fan Page y dejarnos sus comentarios y sugerencias.

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Laguna Alalay: Crónica de una muerte anunciada.

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