Singapore Needs ECA, says Scientist


By Wendy Laursen 2015-09-18 14:43:42

A Singapore-based scientist has urged the nation to implement an Emission Control Area (ECA) to combat rising pollution.

Dr Erik Velasco, of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, made the call during a speech delivered about the nation’s most recent smoke haze event at the Nanyang Polytechnic’ symposium on Air Quality & Public Health. 

Singapore regularly experiences haze events which are largely contributed to by wildfires in Indonesia, but, says Velasco, shipping is a major source of pollutants to the atmosphere in Singapore on days not affected by fires in neighboring islands.

Local air quality is affected by the usual urban pollution sources (vehicular traffic and industrial activity), cargo ships crossing the nearby Singapore Strait, natural emissions from the abundant vegetation and ocean, and episodic transboundary pollution originating from wildfires and land-clearing activities in neighboring countries, says Velasco.

“Air pollution is a major environmental risk to health. Urban air pollution is estimated to cause 1.3 million deaths worldwide per year.”