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Very high pollution episodes across Western Europe

Average concentrations of particulate matter (PM10) have been unusually high across a wide region of Western Europe. Since March 12th  almost three quarters of France have experienced PM10 concentrations above the limit of 50 micrograms per cubic meter (daily mean), with some areas recording more than double that level.

Also in Belgium and Germany in several hot-spots, pollutants values have exceeded the limits. Today, Monday 17, because of wind most of the pollutants values are back in the average levels.  Causes of this events are complex but we can notice as the area involved in this air pollution episode is one of the most at risk of the EU because of concentration of diesel cars, urban heating systems, heavy industry and industrialized agriculture with strong chemical imputs of ammonia based fertilizers and with emissions from intensive animal breeding: a sum of factors that improve the risk of severe air pollution episodes.

Check the EEA’s near-real time air pollution map.

Check this article for a more detailed analysis on pollution risk factors:




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Socio Economic implications For Individual Responses to Air Pollution policies in EU +27

SEFIRA has the objective of creating a European coordination of transdisciplinary scientific and socio-economic resources in order to support the review and implementation of air quality legislation by the European Commission (EC) led by DG Environment. SEFIRA will coordinate some of the best scientific and socio-economic resources and will review air quality policies and legislation at the interface between environmental, economic and social sciences in order to achieve a deeper understanding of these complex issues. The main fields involved in the action will be atmospheric sciences, environmental and legal sociology, anthropology, geography and economics.