EU pollution limit breached in Flanders
21 March 2006, BRUSSELS — The European maximum for fine particulates in the air was breached on Monday in Flanders for the first time this year, the Flemish Environment Society (VMM) said.
21 March 2006
BRUSSELS — The European maximum for fine particulates in the air was breached on Monday in Flanders for the first time this year, the Flemish Environment Society (VMM) said.
EU guidelines state that the limit of 50 _g/m3 PM 10 — the amount of fine particles in the air with a diameter less than one hundredth of a millimetre — may only be breached on 35 days each year.
In Zwijndrecht, however, the EU guidelines have been breached on 36 days already, news agency Belga reported.
Fine particles originate from heating systems, industry and traffic. Minimising such pollution is well known, such as placing a filter on diesel cars. Gas heating is also less polluting than heating oil.
The VMM said the fact that Flanders has breached the EU guidelines so early this year is due to the low wind speeds recorded in the first few months of the year and more than the normal amount of wind from the east has been recorded.
An easterly wind brings with it pollution from European continent, such as the Ruhr industrial area in Germany.
That pollution comes on top of the pollution produced by Flanders, which is high-density populated and economically active region with high volumes of traffic.
VMM said the entire Flemish region is polluted. "Sometimes there are peaks at certain places, but essentially all of Flanders is susceptible to fine particle pollution."
It is considered probable that Roeselare and the Ghent canal zone will also breach the EU guidelines in the short-term. Those regions have already recorded 34 days of high fine particle pollution, VMM said.
The EU limit was breached at 18 of the 32 monitoring stations in Flanders last year.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news