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04 June 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Prof Cathryn Tonne
Air pollution not only costs lives, it costs money too. Pictured is Prof Cathryn Tonne presenting a guest lecture on air pollution at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Health effects associated with ambient air pollution (AAP) have been well documented. Subsequently, the relationship between pollution and financial outcomes have also become a focus for case studies globally. An Environmental Research journal article revealed that “low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by the global burden of adverse health effects caused by AAP”. 

A high price to pay

In 2012, high concentrations of air pollution caused 7.4% of all deaths, costing South Africa up to 6% of its Gross Domestic Product. According to the recent International Growth Centre study conducted by senior University of Cape Town researchers, this is a direct consequence of the country’s heavy dependence of fossil fuels, a source of health-damaging air pollution and greenhouse pollutants.

Stunted human and economic growth

These South African statistics are attested to by Prof Cathryn Tonne who recently presented a guest lecture on air pollution which was hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS) Business School.

“Air pollution can affect economic development through several pathways, and health is an important one. Air pollution is linked to shorter life expectancy, chronic disease, asthma exacerbation and many other health outcomes that result in absenteeism from work and school. These have large direct costs to the health system.” 

Prof Tonne says that air pollution exposure in children is linked to reduced cognitive development, with important impacts on human capital. As a result, children are not reaching their full potential in terms of neurodevelopment, which has an effect on their income prospects and the economy as a whole. 

Resolving a looming disaster

Technology may be employed to radically clean the air. Cities need to lead in the reduction of air pollution by promoting renewable energy, using active transport such as walking or cycling, and investing in infrastructure to make this safe and attractive. 

With researchers playing a major role in strengthening the case for aggressive air pollution control, the government needs to implement policies in order to control sources of air pollution. This global health and economic issue also requires individuals and communities to play their part to improve air quality.

News Archive

Double Spring Festival
2007-08-15

 
DOUBLE SPRING FESTIVAL!
1 – 2 September 2007
 
The Department of Music and the Free State Youth Symphony Orchestra is presenting a Double Spring Festival for double pleasure!
 
Saturday, 1 September 2007
Odeion
19:30
Free State Youth Symphony Orchestra
 
The Free State Youth Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sjoerd Alkema will perform works by Sibelius (Finlandia), Mozart (Double Piano Concerto), Chabrier, Weber and Schubert. Pianists Nicol Viljoen and Sjoerd Alkema will perform the double piano concerto together with the orchestra.
 
Sunday, 2 September 2007
Odeion
16:00
The Three Brahms Piano Trios
 
Three of our country’s leading musicians will give you the opportunity to hear all three of the piano trios by composer Johannes Brahms in one concert! Well known pianist Albie van Schalkwyk (currently Departmental Chairperson at the UFS Department of Music) will perform with cellist Anmarie van der Westhuizen and violinist Pieter Schoeman.
 
ADMISSION (double ticket)
Adults (R80)
Pensioners, Students and learners (R60)
 
BOOKINGS
Tel. 051 – 401 2504
   
  

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