Ozone levels high, but below alarm threshold
5 July 2006, BRUSSELS — Ozone levels reached warning levels at various places across the country on Tuesday, but did not breach the EU alarm level.
5 July 2006
BRUSSELS — Ozone levels reached warning levels at various places across the country on Tuesday, but did not breach the EU alarm level.
At 5pm on Tuesday, the warning level of 180 micrograms of ozone per cubic metre of air was recorded at 14 locations.
The ozone concentration was even higher than 200 micrograms in St-Agatha-Berchem, Sint-Kruiswinkel, Berendrecht and Sint-Pieters-Leeuw.
The Interregional Cell for the Environment said if the EU alarm level of 240 micrograms is breached on Wednesday, the crisis phase of the federal emergency plan would be thrown into operation.
That means forecasts for coming days would be closely monitored, but spokesman Dirk De Groof said lower concentrations of ozone are expected.
Tuesday could be recorded as the hottest day of the 2006 summer, with temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius in Flanders and even 35 degrees in the Kempen region.
The warning level of 180 micrograms of ozone was breached in Flanders on Saturday, but the EU warning level has not yet been reached.
On Monday and Sunday, the level of ozone stayed below the 180 microgram warning level.
Ozone is especially dangerous to small children, the elderly and people with breathing difficulties. High levels of ozone lead to 75-80 deaths each year.
Homecare group Familiehulp has urged professional social workers, family and friends, neighbours and volunteer aid workers to pay particular attention to the elderly.
Due to the fact elderly people have a reduced ability to detect temperature changes, have a reduced feeling of thirst and transpire less, it is important that they wear appropriate clothing, drink sufficient water and eat adequately.
They are also advised to stay in a cool area during the hottest part of the day.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news