Oxygen from 182 Trees Help People of Baguio Live By Michael A. Bengwayan

Oxygen from 182 Trees Help People of Baguio Live By Michael A. Bengwayan

Oxygen from 182 Trees Help People of Baguio Live

By Michael A. Bengwayan


Baguio City — Can humans live without oxygen? Can the residents of Baguio do away with oxygen? We are forced to ask this question in view of the impending death of 182 trees at Luneta Hill of Baguio City which are meant to be cut or earth-balled any day now. And we will be answering it because it appears that even with our laws which prevent tree cutting and tree harming, even with so-called responsible “leaders and public servants” who swore to protect the environment, even with growing public anger and public opinion against the harming of the trees, SM is poised to kill the innocent trees. Oxygen, that colorless and odorless gas that makes up 21 per cent of the Earth’s atmosphere is essential for all forms of life, especially for humans. Oxygen is not merely breathed in by humans to live. It is necessary for that metabolic “burning” of foods to produce energy—a process called aerobic metabolism. To reach the body cells, where aerobic metabolism takes place, oxgen in the air is absorbed through the lungs and into the blood where it binds to the haemoglobin in red blood cells. In this form, the oxygen is distributed throughout the body, being released from the haemoglobin and taken up the the cells in areas where the oxygen level is low. It is important for the brain, most especially and the respiratory system. Oxygen flows through body tissues and prevents severe bronchitis or hypoxia (inadequate oxygen in body tissues), poisoning against carbon monoxide and other smog particulate matters that enter the human body. The question now is, does the oxygen released by trees help people, especially those living or staying in the city?. The universal fact that oxygen produced from one tree provides the yearly average oxygen needs for some four to six people is the universal truth. Each of those trees help provide oxygen for people and the most immediate to benefit are the humans living close to the trees.

Those 182 trees help make oxygen. They combine CO2 with H2O to make glucose and release oxygen. Trees need to do gas exchange because they create aerobic cellular respiration (like animals) and they need to get molecular oxygen and to release carbon dioxide. Besides aerobic cellular respiration plants still need to get carbon dioxide to make photosynthesis and to release the molecular oxygen that is the product of this reaction.


How? In the covering of the leaves and of the primary structure of the stem gas exchange is made through the cuticle and pores of the epidermis. In the covering of the secondary structure of the stem of woody plants gas exchange is made through the lenticels of the periderm (small breaches of the cork). The gas exchange in plants is accomplished by simple diffusion.


That the 182 trees help produce the oxygen Baguio people breath is no longer a doubt.


And their importance does not end there. . Oxygen from those trees clean smog particulates from the air before we inhale it. . There are some ten dangerous chemical substances in the air that are cleaned by oxygen.


How do the oxygen help clean up these chemicals? Negative ions from oxygen attach themselves to contaminates and allergens, which are positively-charged. The newly-formed larger particles are then able to fall to the ground, and out of the air we breathe.


Most floating contaminates and allergens are positively charged, and of course, negative ions are negatively charged. In environments where high densities of negative ions exist, they are able to reverse the charge of floating contaminates to a negative charge.


This results in a magnetic attraction among the floating pollutants in the air, causing them to aggregate, or clump together. As a result, they become too heavy to remain floating in the air, and fall harmlessly to the ground, where they cannot find their way into your respiratory tract.


At this point, even if they are inhaled before falling out of the air, these now larger particles are able to be intercepted by the “filters” of the upper respiratory tract, due to their increased size.


Of course, without a continual generation of negative ions, some of these enlarged pollutants can find their way back into the air. That is why continuous fresh oxygen supply from trees and plants is important. to ensure pollutants stay out of the air we breathe. Some studies suggest that negative ions also have a biological effect on bacteria and viruses, killing them on contact in many cases.


I don’t know how much more I should be talking, writing, testifying in court, speaking in public about how these 182 trees at Luneta are helping us. With pupils from elementary schools, and among college students, they know it enough.


It appears that only our elected leaders in the city, with the exception of a few, and some public servants from DENR are not convinced of this. And it is fueling a wrong perception among the minds of SM people that to kill a tree is the best way to make a ecosystem sustainable.


Alas, the evil that people think of.


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