Cleanest Air in ASEAN is in… Brunei!

The Sultanate of Brunei has the third cleanest air in the world with lower concentration of “fine particular matter (PM) in urban areas” in its air, according to the Global Health Observatory 2017 report released by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Solomon Island has the cleanest air and had a rating of 5, ahead of New Zealand (5.2), Brunei Darussalam (5.4) and Australia (5.8).

Despite having the cleanest air, according to the report, Solomon Island still falls behind on other development indicators, particularly in areas such as life expectancy, improved access to proper sanitation and rates of cancer.

Air pollution is a big problem as it is responsible for an estimated 3.3 million deaths every year.

A tiny pollutant called PM2.5, or particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns across, is considered the most harmful pollutant.

It is found in soot, smoke, and dust. When it lodges in the lungs, it can cause long-term health problems like asthma and chronic lung disease.

Brunei, rated by many international agencies as one of the most livable places in the world, has done a good job of keeping emissions low and maintaining forests, even with rapid industrialisation.

Last year, a report released by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) also gave a clean certificate to the air quality of the Sultanate.

Brunei has a pollution level which is well below the WHO’s ceiling for acceptable outdoor air quality compared to other countries in the region where urban pollution levels are very high, partly due to the high level of car ownership in the region’s major cities, EIU said in its report on Asean cities titled ‘Stirring the Melting Pot’.

Another finding by the WHO last year also stated that Brunei has some of the cleanest and safest air on the planet and is among the countries with the lowest number of deaths from air pollution – with zero deaths per 100,000 people.

This report analysed data from more than 100 nations, comparing exposure to ambient air pollution and related death and illness.

It showed Brunei among the top 10 nations with the best results for concentrations of PM2.5 – a key measure of air pollution – along with rates of deaths, disease and illness that could be attributed to pollution.

(Source: Borneo Bulletin)