Activation of pollution episode protocol for high levels of PM10As of Tuesday, 23rd February, the Government of Catalonia’s Directorate-General for Environmental Quality and Climate has activated the pollution episode protocol for high levels of PM10 in the Barcelona area. The City Council has activated a series of measures to tackle the pollution.
The Air Pollution Monitoring and Forecasting Network in Catalonia (XVPCA) has recorded levels of particulate matter with a diameter inferior to 10 micrometres (PM10), under the warning threshold.
Municipal operation activated
Given the situation, as from Tuesday, 23rd February, Barcelona City Council has activated a series of temporary measures set out in the protocol for high levels of pollution while the episode lasts. They are as follows:
- Watering down unpaved parks and squares.
- Increased watering down of streets using groundwater.
- Ban of the use of air blowers for cleaning tasks and in green zones.
- Ban on activity producing dust at worksites.
Recommendations for the public during an episode
The City Council recommends people get around on foot or by bike using streets with the lowest volumes of traffic, or use public transport, avoiding the use of private vehicles. If there is no other option, car sharing is recommended.
People are also advised to adjust home heating or cooling systems. If using air-conditioning, users are recommended to increase the temperature of the thermostat. The public are also advice to be particularly aware of the effects of air pollution, changing sports routines to the times of day when pollution levels are lower.
What is particulate matter (PM10) and where does it come from?
Particulate matter of less than 10 micrometres in diameter describes solid or liquid micro particles which float in the air. Up to 40% is generated by motors, tyres and vehicle brakes. The rest comes from dust generated on worksites and demolition sites, as well as clouds carrying dust from the Sahara.