Tag Archives: Nepali

Air Pollution in Kathmandu: Are You Protected?

Unfortunately, widely used surgical type masks or face masks (home-made) made out of various clothing materials may not protect you from exposure to fine Particulate Matter (PM) present in the environment, therefore, not appropriate for use, especially while walking in the streets of Kathmandu or any other polluted city around the world for that matter.

Any pollution mask should be able to protect its wearer from environmental dust particles or more precisely, suspended Particulate Matter (PM 10 or PM 2.5). Below is a general comparison between extensively  popular Face Mask (in Nepal) and standard ‘N95’ designated respirator.

Face Mask

A face mask is a loose-fitting, disposable device that creates a physical barrier between the “mouth and nose” of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment. Face masks are not to be shared and may be labeled as surgical, isolation, dental or medical procedure masks.

Face Mask_1
Face Mask

If worn properly, a face mask is meant to help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays or splatter that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria), keeping it from reaching your mouth and nose.

While a face mask may be effective in blocking splashes and large-particle droplets, a face mask, by design, does not filter or block very small particles in the air. Face masks also do not provide complete protection from germs and other contaminants because of the loose fit between the surface of the face mask and your face.

N95 Repirator 

An ‘N95’ respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. The ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron or 0.0003 millimeter or 300 nanometer) Particulate Matter (PM). Thus masks that come with an ‘N95’ rating can easily filter up to 95 percent of the Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) from the air you breathe.

3M N95 dust mask
N95 Respirator

 

If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of ‘N95’ respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death. (Reference: FDA)

Also Read:

COVID-19 Outbreak: Surgical Face Masks

COVID-19 Outbreak: Cloth Face Coverings

COVID-19: Disinfecting Your Homes and Offices

Covid-19 Pandemic: Safe Return to Work and Business Continuity

Construction Industry: Fatal (Focus-Four) Hazards

Ensuring Occupational Health & Safety by Managing Risk

A Business Case for Health & Safety….

Fire Prevention and Fire Protection – Air Pollution in Kathmandu – Construction PPE – Carbon Monoxide poisoning – Electrical Safety – Fall Protection in General Industry– Fearsome 4 of Construction Safety – Fall Restrain System Vs. Fall Arrest System – Respiratory Protection – Portable Ladder Safety – Confined Space Entry – Initiating First Aid/CPR – Are you too busy… – If you have $86,400 in your account… – Fire Prevention and Fire Protection – Air Pollution in Kathmandu – Construction PPE – Carbon Monoxide poisoning – Electrical Safety – Fall Protection in General Industry– Fearsome 4 of Construction Safety – Fall Restrain System Vs. Fall Arrest System – Respiratory Protection – Portable Ladder Safety – Confined Space Entry  – Respiratory Protection

 

 

Global Threats of Climate Change: Nepalese Context

climate change(Photo Source: Google)

Verisk Maplecroft, a global risks analytics and research organization, published a Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) in 2010, ranking Nepal as the fourth most vulnerable country to the impacts of climate change. Recent estimates show that Nepal, in the past few years, has already been facing an annual economic loss of 1.5 to 2% of GDP due to climate change events. One may argue climate change to be a natural phenomenon but environmental and climate researchers think otherwise.

Air, water and soil are being polluted left and right. Many developed and industrialized nations are heavily emitting greenhouse gases day and night. Businesses are not performing enough for environmental good and rather seem busy lobbying against it. Very little is being done to manage ever growing garbage, pollution and toxic wastes. This in turn is causing environmental degradation, global warming, climate change and chronic health hazards around the world.         

 Environmental degradation along with increased rate of global warming gave rise to climate change, an accumulated result of human activities in just over the last few centuries. Although it may not be local, direct or prompt but the climate change effects are showing up in global scale, as weather patterns are changing all over the planet, several species are going extinct, ozone layer is depleting, earth’s temperature is rising, glaciers and polar ice caps are melting rapidly and sea level is rising faster than ever before. 

According to a report, submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the mean annual temperature projections for Nepal are 1.3-3.8 degree Celsius by the 2060s and 1.8-5.8 degree Celsius by the 2090s. Meanwhile, the World Bank report indicates that the mean annual temperature of the entire globe is projected to increase by 1 to 5 degree Celsius by the end of this century, placing us towards the higher end of the projected spectrum globally.

Nepal’s topography and socio-economic conditions make it even more vulnerable to climate change induced disasters. The negative impacts of climate change in Nepal have been rapidly translating into reduced annual precipitation, decrease in Himalayan ice reserve, receding glaciers, drying up of water sources, rapid formation of glacial lakes, erratic rainfall pattern, increased threats to run-of-river hydroelectricity projects, etc. As a result, increased risk of disasters, in the form of more frequent avalanches, floods, landslides, droughts, forest fires, epidemics, etc., cannot be ignored anymore.

If we fail to handle them tactfully and in a timely manner, climate change driven disasters and its widespread economic impacts certainly paint a rather bleak future for Nepal, as agriculture, hydroelectricity and water-induced disasters are going to be of greatest concern for us in coming days.    

Although major proclamations such as, “Climate change is for real” and “Urgent risk mitigation actions are indispensable” are quite consistent globally, compelling concrete actions are largely missing or are unable to produce definitive results.

Due to the global nature of the crisis, it is impossible to alleviate the problem by any one nation, organization or a certain group. Climate change threat demands coordinated participation and genuine collaborative efforts of every possible stakeholder to rescue the planet, we call home.

Also Read:

(Part II) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part II) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Struck-By Hazards

(Part I) (1 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

(Part I) (2 of 2) Construction Focus Four: Fall Hazards

Fire Prevention and Fire Protection – Air Pollution in Kathmandu – Construction PPE – Carbon Monoxide poisoning – Electrical Safety – Fall Protection in General Industry– Fearsome 4 of Construction Safety – Fall Restrain System Vs. Fall Arrest System – Respiratory Protection – Portable Ladder Safety – Confined Space Entry – Initiating First Aid/CPR – Are you too busy… – If you have $86,400 in your account… – Safety professionals have job prospects as Insurance Risk Surveyor or Loss Assessor

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Gorkha Earthquake 2015: Preparedness Lessons

Recalling the immediate moments after the major shaking of 25th April, 2015, Ms. Sita Shrestha a resident of Thankot, Chandragiri Municipality, Nepal, said “As soon as the shaking stopped, I took my son and daughter out of the house along with our Go-Bag”. She knew that Go-Bag was important but had never imagined that it could be so much useful under those chaotic circumstances.

She further added “At the time, many items out of the Go-Bag were very useful such as radio, tarpaulin, blanket, soap, Dettol, medications, torch-light, tooth pastes and even playing cards”. She was happy that playing cards kept the young boys awake in the nights which was good for the safety of the area. “This single Go Bag, I had stored, had been so useful to many of us. I thought what if everyone had their own Go Bag?” asked Sita rhetorically.

Mr. Hariman Singh Dangol, who lives nearby the renowned Nuwakot Palace in Nuwakot District, is an elderly local priest at the Bhairavi Temple close to the palace. Recalling the learnings from his old folks, Mr. Dangol actively demonstrated his earthquake-safe behavior that he applied inside the temple when the ground started shaking on that fateful day of the Gorkha Earthquake.

Mr. Manoj Tamang, a local resident of Laharepauwa VDC in Rasuwa District, mentioned that his younger brother was studying in the ground floor of a two-story house on the day of the Gorkha Earthquake. “He could run and go out but he chose to go under the bed during the earthquake; he learned this at his school” said Manoj painfully. On that day, Manoj lost his brother to the quake as the house collapsed and crushed the bed.

From Bidur Municipality-3 in Nuwakot District, Ms. Samita Dangol, a local shopkeeper, revealed her brave story and how she was able to rescue her two younger sisters even after the two-story house collapsed miserably. “The two school girls saved their lives taking shelter under the bed on the 2nd floor. This wouldn’t be possible if the bed was fragile or box-type” said Samita convincingly….

(NOTE: Please click the link below to read the entire article “’Go-Bag’ & ‘DCH’: Enough said, let’s make it right!”)

“Go-Bag” & “DCH”: Enough said, let’s make it right!

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