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This is Ian Ozsvald's blog, I'm an entrepreneurial geek, a Data Science/ML/NLP/AI consultant, founder of the Annotate.io social media mining API, author of O'Reilly's High Performance Python book, co-organiser of PyDataLondon, co-founder of the SocialTies App, author of the A.I.Cookbook, author of The Screencasting Handbook, a Pythonista, co-founder of ShowMeDo and FivePoundApps and also a Londoner. Here's a little more about me.

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28 June 2012 - 23:20Bloody awful air in Santiago (“killer air”?)

I’m a London boy. I grey up on clouds of smoke (albeit not Dickensian-smoke but still…much pollution). Having traveled parts of the world I haven’t often encountered really bad pollution. Santiago has reset my levels.

When running up San Cristobel (the big hill in the centre of Santiago) a few weeks back it was possible to climb above the pollution line and to look down on the smog. As of two days ago my entire run was done under the pollution line. Emily ran also, she had a sharp chest pain for 24 hours after (she’s already on 3 antihistamines a day to de-clog). You get to see the yellow smog all around as you walk at street level.

This report from last year was pretty alarming, being exposed to 5* the WHO’s ‘safe levels’ on a daily basis is somewhat crazy. The numbers this year are ‘better’ as we’re only being exposed to 4* the WHO’s ‘safe levels’ (‘safe’ as in – don’t be exposed above this for more than 24 hours…we get it day in, day out).

Thankfully it is raining today and this weather/pollution site is recording ‘good’ levels (though if the column on the right-side of the lefthand table corresponds to the levels in the other links…who knows what happens at “401-500=Peligroso” [Danger!]).

For the record today (during the rain which massively cleanses the air) El Bosque (near the airport & much of the industry) the level is recorded as 58, out in Las Condes (the nobby area) the recording is 37. I’ll see how that changes over the next week.

You can see at the top of the weather/pollution link under ‘restrictions’ that non-catalyst cars (“No catalíticos”) are being restricted, the number-plates change for tomorrow (“Mañana”). They’ve been restricting cars by segment for the last few weeks. I guess that means that they’re seen to be “doing something” (even though the larger polluters are probably big industry around the city).

In the meantime I look forward to leaving for Argentina in a week, they’ve at least got clean out air there.

Does anyone have links to good real-time pollution statistics here in Santiago? Perhaps recorded back for several years, perhaps also recorded by area?

Update – more links:


Ian applies Data Science as an AI/Data Scientist for companies in ModelInsight and Mor Consulting, founded the image and text annotation API Annotate.io, co-authored SocialTies, programs Python, authored The Screencasting Handbook, lives in London and is a consumer of fine coffees.

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