According to a recent briefing by the European Environmental Agency, the air pollution is ranked first as environmental health risk affecting all living beings on Planet Earth. This is one of the greatest concerns in nature preservation considering that urban communities (both human beings and wildlife) are greatly subjected (up to 97% of total) to massive concentrations of pollutants with special regard to some geographical areas, notably Central-Eastern Europe and Italy. This is mainly due to domestic heating systems as well as the industrial use. Besides that, levels of ozone and nitrogen dioxide often exceeded limits of tolerability in the period of reference (2021 - 2022), with 'hot spots' within the Mediterranean Basin. Thus, the European Comission has recenly set an ambitious goal to achieve by 20230 through European Green Deal’s Zero Pollution Action Plan. The main mission is to reduce by 55% (at least) the number of premature deaths caused by fine particulate (PM2.5, a key air pollutant), compared with 2005 mortality rate.
During the last weekend, Monaco Governments issued useful recommendations to face summer ozone peaks resulting from the sun reaction on a set of automotive and industrial chemical emissions, under high pressure and low wind weather conditions.
It is extremely important to beware of any possible consequence on our state of health, with special regard to vulnerable people (e.g.: pregnant women, infants and young children, people over the age of 65, citizens affected by cardiovascular diseases, cardiac or respiratory insufficiency, asthma) or sensitive people (e.g.: the ones who show symptoms during ozone peaks).
Hereafter, the key actions you should follow in case of heat waves:
💪 Limit intense physical and sports activities in the open air while those indoors can be maintained if carried out in an adequately ventilated environment.
☀ Do not come out under the sun during the hottest hours or protect yourself from sun rays.
🧘♂Prefer shorter outdoor walks, requiring less efforts.
⚠ Do not use (or limit the use of) solvents, paints, varnishes or other chemicals outdoor or indoor.
🗣️ In case of respiratory or heart problems ask your pharmacist or family doctor.
🚗✈🚅 While travelling:
Use non-polluting means of transport for short journeys.
Limit the use of motor vehicles for private and business use.
Prefer public transport or car-pooling.
Avoid using highways during ozone peaks.
The Principality of Monaco is constantly monitoring air quality through an automated network via five measuring stations where nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, dust and ozone (O3) are constantly measured. Notably in: Rue Grimaldi, Boulevard Charles III, Place des Moulins, Fontvieille and Quai Antoine 1er. The recorded data are processed daily by the Direction de l’Environnement (Environment Directorate). ***
By Maurice Abbati
Springer International Publishing