Environment minister lowers Peru’s air pollution limit

Living in Peru
Israel J. Ruiz

In an effort to reduce air pollution in Peru, Environment Minister Antonio Brack approved on Friday an environmental quality standard that is aimed at reducing the amount of sulfur dioxide in the country.

With a supreme decree, the environment ministry established that the level of sulfur dioxide in the country’s air is to be reduced gradually until it reaches 20 micrograms per cubic meter of air.

This goal is to be reached by 2014, explained authorities.

We are significantly reducing the amount of sulfur dioxide allowed, which according to environmental standards in 2001 was 365 micrograms per cubic meter," said Vice-Minister Ana María González del Valle.

According to Beatriz Merino, head of the country’s human rights institution, air pollution levels in Lima are nine times higher than what is recommended by the World Health Organization.

"43 percent of children between 1 and 4 in very low socioeconomic sectors suffer from respiratory infections," reported Merino.

"1,105,575 cases were registered in 2005 and another 480,144 have been registered this year."