Residents Face Record Breaking Air Pollution In Milan

by | Feb 21, 2024 | Environmental News, Pollution News

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On Tuesday, Milan found itself shrouded in smog amid a dispute sparked by data from a monitoring group. The Swiss real-time air quality website IQAir classified Milan as “unhealthy” on Sunday, citing levels of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) in the air that were 24 times higher than the limit recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). This ranking placed Milan third globally, following Dhaka in Bangladesh and Lahore in Pakistan, prompting debate over Air Pollution in Milan.

Official data reveals that air pollution levels in Milan, particularly fine particulates, have ranked among the highest in Europe for February. Fine particulate matter poses significant health risks, penetrating deep into the lungs and potentially entering the bloodstream. Milan residents, such as Pietro De Luca, describe experiencing a persistent smog odour, coughing, and throat irritation, prompting some to contemplate relocating to escape the detrimental pollution and associated health hazards. To mitigate exposure, certain residents in Italy’s fashion and finance capital have resorted to wearing face masks when outdoors. (Reuters)

To address severe air pollution in Milan, Italy’s northern Lombardy region has implemented stringent anti-smog measures in the city and eight neighboring provinces. These measures include restricting heavy motor vehicle operations during the day and placing limits on heating and industrial agricultural activities across the nine provinces.

Residents Face Record Breaking Air Pollution In Milan

The challenging situation is aggravated by a lack of rain and wind, amplifying air pollution levels in the mostly land-locked and industrial northern Po River Valley. Italy often faces episodes of poor air quality in winter due to factors such as low rainfall, industrial and vehicle emissions, and geographical features that trap smog.

Despite the introduction of anti-smog policies, Milan’s attempts to tackle air pollution appear insufficient. The city’s unique geographical and urban characteristics contribute to the severity of the issue, demanding urgent attention. Current efforts to purify the air and enhance circulation are proving insufficient. With PM2.5 concentrations in Milan surpassing the World Health Organization’s annual guideline value by 13.5 times, there is a pressing need for more robust and effective solutions. Health experts caution that prolonged exposure to such elevated pollution levels can result in severe health consequences, including respiratory ailments, cardiovascular issues, and a shortened life expectancy.

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