June 11, 2008


Photochemical Oxidant Warnings Issued across 28 Prefectures in 2007

Keywords: Chemicals Government 

Photochemical oxidant warnings were issued across 28 prefectures in 2007, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment announced on February 19, 2008, in a report on the status of the issuance of photochemical oxidant warnings/alarms and the number of sufferers in 2007. Compared to 25 prefectures in 2006 and 21 prefectures in 2005, the number of sufferers was the highest on record since monitoring began. The total number of days with warnings in 2007 was 220, with 1,910 sufferers across 14 prefectures, which was the highest over the past three years (in 2006 and 2005, these were 177 with 289 sufferers in 8 prefectures, and 185 with 1,495 sufferers in 10 prefectures, respectively).

There were the warnings against photochemical oxidants, but no alarms in 2007. In Niigata and Oita Prefectures, such advisories were issued once for the first time. By prefecture, Saitama had the highest number of warnings at 32, followed by Tokyo, and nearby Kanagawa and Chiba Prefectures. By month, August topped the list with 83 days, followed by July and May.

As for the number of sufferers, Aichi Prefecture had the highest at 771, followed by Fukuoka and Niigata. By month, May had the highest number of sufferers, followed by June and July. Most of the damage occurred during outdoor activities at elementary and junior high schools. The most common symptoms were related to the eyes and throat, however, no patients needed to be hospitalized.

Using the Atmospheric Environmental Regional Observation System, the Ministry provides real-time data on photochemical oxidants to prevent health damage caused by air pollution. It also plans to take measures to control emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) or volatile organic compounds (VOC), as well as to promote studies and monitoring of photochemical oxidants and international cooperation.

- Tokyo Government Identifies Factors that Increase Photochemical Oxidants (Related JFS article)
- Photochemical Smog in 2005 Worst for Decade (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2008/06/11 12:39:33 PM