Barcelona Warns of High Air Pollution Levels

The city of Barcelona

Pollution threat for Barcelona. Credit: Michal Jarmuluk, Pixabay

BARCELONA city council has warned that high levels of pollution have been detected, and that immediate steps will be taken to improve the air quality.

On Wednesday, July 12, the government of Catalonia activated a warning advising of an episode of air pollution caused by PM10 particles, and Barcelona city council announced measures to reduce levels.

The Atmospheric Pollution Monitoring and Forecasting Network (XVPA) detected high levels of suspended particles with a diametre of less than 10 microns (PM10). Faced with this situation, Barcelona city council proposed a series of recommendations for the public in order to improve the air quality, and not add more suspended particles to the atmosphere.

The authority stated that members of the public are advised to avoid travelling by private vehicle, and to use public transport or make journeys on foot or by bicycle through streets with low traffic levels. If there is no alternative, then car sharing is being promoted. The council asked that drivers start smoothly, drive slowly, use their engine for braking and avoid sudden acceleration.

“Members of the public are recommended to regulate the air conditioning in their homes, and people who are particularly sensitive to the effects of air pollution are advised to move their sports routine to the time of day when the concentrations of pollutants are inferior, like sunset or night time” the warning stated.

The council has also implemented planned actions for high pollution levels, such as watering down streets that bear the most traffic, avoiding the use of leaf blowers and watering pavements to reduce PM10 levels.

What are PM10 suspended particles and how do they originate?

Particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) are small solid or liquid particles that float in the air. Up to 40 per cent of these particles are generated by vehicle engines, tyres and brakes. The rest comes from construction and demolition dust, and on occasion from Saharan dust clouds.

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Written by

Jo Pugh

Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.

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