16,000 early deaths are linked to pollution

13th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 April 2006, MADRID — At least 16,000 people die early because of atmospheric pollution in Spain, the minister of environment said.

13 April 2006

MADRID — At least 16,000 people die early because of atmospheric pollution in Spain, the minister of environment said.

Cristina Narbona said the number of premature deaths was ten times higher than the figure for fatal traffic accidents.

Narbona stressed it was important people realised contamination was "harmful to health and progress".

But she said Spanish society was still not conscious of the damage caused by  environmental pollution.

Narbona said when firms are fined for causing environmental damage, people do not associate it with trying to save money on health treatment for those who are later on affected by atmospheric pollution.

The minister said a study was underway to analyse the damage done to children by environmental pollution.

Narbona said pulmonary problems were on the rise as were the number of allergies, especially among the young.

She said trying to move away from combustible energy sources to more ecological-friendly types was a priority.

But Narbona said Spain was trailing other countries in terms of the use of green energy.

"Spain has much to gain from moving to renewable energy sources. In other countries there are companies with pioneering projects particularly in solar energy," she said.

She said Spain had received a number of warnings from the European Union about environmental abuses.

The development of the M-30 motorway at Madrid near protected parkland was one such example.

Also, Narbona said, local authorities faced fines of EUR 20 million in Vigo, in Galicia, for not supplying clean drinking water.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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