Due to extremely poor air quality throughout Lombardy, Milan has introduced strict new rules

Milan came in 3rd place, behind Dhaka and Lahore.

Author  HrTurizam.hr

February 22, 2024.

The smog state of emergency had affected 9 of the 12 provinces in Lombardy by Tuesday - including Milan - imposing restrictions on heating homes, using heavy motor vehicles during the day and irrigating crops with waste water.

Air pollution is not unusual in this region, but due to the low amount of precipitation and unusually high temperatures, the situation reached a critical point at the beginning of this week.

Claims that Milan is one of the cities with the worst air pollution in the world have also caused controversy.

Dry conditions in recent months

Unusually high winter temperatures and low rainfall have worsened the smog problem, authorities said on Monday, meaning they had to be put in place temporary measures to reduce pollution.

Countries across the Mediterranean have suffered in recent months due to dry conditions. Namely, the warm weather and lack of precipitation aggravated the problems with water supply. Rain and wind forecast from Thursday are expected to ease the situation in Lombardy and other parts of the lowland area along the river Po.

Regional unit of the Environmental Protection Agency HARP she announced that meteorological conditions favoring the spread of pollution in that area are common. The Alps and the Apennines, which close the valley of the largest Italian river on three sides, reduce the wind speed in the region, which complicates the situation with smog.

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Behind Dhaka and Lahore

The problem caught the attention of the public and local authorities earlier this week when IQ Air, a Swiss air pollution monitoring company, labeled the air in Milan "unhealthy". It was announced that the city's particle pollution - PM2,5 - is 24 times higher than the limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The company ranked Milan at third place behind Dhaka in Bangladesh and Lahore in Pakistan, two countries known to have consistently poor air quality. On Tuesday briefly rose to second place before falling back to 10th place.

IQAir collects data from government monitoring stations and sensors owned by scientists around the world.

ARPA has admitted that the city's air has crossed the line in recent days. It just started it anti-pollution measures such as daily traffic restrictions in the most severely affected parts of the region.

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Premature deaths 

The situation with smog was commented on by the Italian Society for Environmental Medicine (SIMA). Italy is said to have the highest number of deaths attributable to air pollution in Europe, 80.000 each year.

"The direct effects of pollution on human health affect various systems and organs", said the president of SIMA Alexander Miani for a news agency HANDLE. These include effects on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.

For this reason, he added, "quick action to drastically reduce the main sources of air pollution emissions is crucial and can no longer be delayed."

Miani said that one of the main causes of smog is private buildings and home heating, which is why it is necessary to "change daily habits by rationalizing energy consumption, limiting the time the system is on and lowering temperatures in homes".

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Author  HrTurizam.hr

February 22, 2024.