Sources

 

Particulate matter

Impact on health

Ecosystems

A question of rights

Sources of air pollution

We understand air pollution, above all, as a dynamic process with a range of actors and factors – from the purely physical to human action to belief systems. No single factor on its own is likely to lead to air pollution but rather, it is a combination of a wide range of very different factors acting together that come together in the phenomenon we call air pollution. 

 

Our strategy should be to make an inventory of all contributing factors and actors and factors and determine where we might effectively intervene to get the best possible result for the lowest potential cost and effort.

 

At a physical level we might cite the rugged topography of the Sóller valley, a bowl-like depression surrounded by high peaks. 

 

And, meteorologically, we have the phenomenon of thermal inversion. 

Thermal inversion. 

Generally, atmospheric temperature decreases with height. But sometimes, the opposite happens: the bottom of a valley registers colder temperatures than the summits of the mountains. 

 

During the day the sun warms the air near the earth’s surface. Normally this heated air expands and rises during the day, diluting low-lying pollutants and carrying them higher into the atmosphere. Air from surrounding high-pressure areas then moves down into the low-pressure area created when the hot air rises. This continual mixing of the air helps keep pollutants from reaching dangerous levels near the ground.

 

Sometimes, however, a layer of dense, cool air is trapped beneath a layer of less dense, warm air in a valley. This is thermal inversion. In effect, a warm-air lid covers the region and prevents pollutants from escaping in upward-flowing air currents. 

 

Temperature inversions are frequently a result of other weather conditions in an area. They occur most often when a warm, less dense air mass moves over a dense, cold air mass. This can happen, for example, when the air near the ground rapidly loses its heat on a clear night. The ground becomes cooled quickly while the air above it retains the heat the ground was holding during the day. 

 

Topography can also play a role in creating a temperature inversion since it can sometimes cause cold air to flow from mountain peaks down into valleys. This cold air then pushes under the warmer air rising from the valley, creating the inversion.

Contaminants

But what of the contaminants themselves? These are often the result of human activity – though not always: the arrival of air from the Sahara frequently bings high levels of PM 10.

 Vehicles and fossil fuels

Cars, trucks, and buses powered by fossil fuels are major contributors to air pollution. Fine particles — less than one-tenth the diameter of a human hair — pose a serious threat to human health, as they can penetrate deep into the lungs. PM can be a primary pollutant or a secondary pollutant from hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxides. Diesel exhaust is a major contributor to PM pollution. But car and trucks also emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that eventually get converted into particulate matter through chemical reactions in the atmosphere. 

 

Non-exhaust emissions (NEE) are particles released into the air from brake wear, tyre wear, road surface wear and resuspension of road dust during on-road vehicle usage. Tight regulation of exhaust emissions by the EU has meant that while cars are now emitting less particle pollution, tyre wear pollution remains unregulated and can be 1,000 times worse. Harmful particle matter from tyres–and also brakes –is a very serious and growing environmental problem, one that is being exacerbated by the increasing popularity of large, heavy vehicles such as SUVs, and growing demand for electric vehicles, which are heavier than standard cars because of their batteries. The stop-start nature of town traffic makes things worse.

 Burning of gricultural waste

Agricultural management is another human activity that contributes particulate matter to the atmosphere. Of course, people living off the land, all those farming it, ensure that the rural world remains a living, dynamic place. Farmers provide local produce and create and maintain the landscape. It is crucial that their work continue being a productive sector. But like every productive sector, it also produces waste – cuttings, branches and so on. And fire is often the tool used to dispose of such waste. Other alternatives such as collection may be hindered by physical factors such as inaccessibility of terrain.

Wood-burning stoves

Finally, wood-burning stoves can make a significant contribution to air pollution. One study found that a single wood burner generates twice the number of harmful PM2.5 particles than a diesel exhaust. A paper by the British Medical Journal found that just one “wood log burning stove” sends more PM2.5 into the atmosphere than a “1,000 petrol cars. But emissions vary widely depending on how the design of the stove, stove is lit and the humidity of the wood.

 Other factors

Other factors are clearly budgetary: projects to collect farm waste rather than burn it place demands on the public purse, while programs aimed at replacing old wood-burning stoves through grants may be costly.

 

Finally, a range of sociological and anthropological factors may contribute to the process. There may be a belief that old ways are natural and good – that they can’t be unhealthy. Fire is also seen in many cultures as having cleansing and purification properties. Wood-burning stoves and the smell of wood smoke is often nostalgically viewed and is associated with cosy evenings.

 

Any efforts to address the process whereby the air is polluted must take into account all these factors. Some, such as physical geography, are clearly beyond our control. Others are subject to intervention. Collectively, we need to decide where we might best intervene for the greatest good.

Our News And Events

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1 week ago

Air pollution: EU Parliament and Council strike deal to improve air quality.

New rules will slash the yearly limits for PM2.5 from 25 µg/m³ to 10 µg/m³.

On Tuesday, negotiators from the European Parliament and Council reached a provisional political agreement on new measures to ensure air quality in the EU is not harmful to human health, natural ecosystems and biodiversity with the aim to eliminate air pollution by 2050.

The new rules slash the yearly limits for fine particulates known as PM2.5 – which wreak havoc on the whole body because they are small enough to slip into the bloodstream – from 25 µg/m³ to 10 µg/m³.

But the targets still allow twice as much pollution as the guideline levels set by the World Health Organization (5 µg/m³).

The law also gives citizens the right to compensation when governments fail to follow the measures and damage their health as a result.

All member states will have to create air quality roadmaps by 31 December 2028 that set out short- and long-term measures to comply with the new 2030 limit values as proposed by Parliament.

An EU-commissioned report worked out the net benefit to society each year to be €90bn (£77bn) if PM2.5 levels were limited to 15 µg/m3, and €123bn if they were brought down to 5 µg/m3.

The deal still has to be adopted by Parliament and the Council, after which the new law will be published in the EU Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later. EU countries will then have two years to apply the new rules.
... See MoreSee Less

Air pollution: EU Parliament and Council strike deal to improve air quality.

New rules will slash the yearly limits for PM2.5 from 25 µg/m³ to 10 µg/m³.

On Tuesday, negotiators from the European Parliament and Council reached a provisional political agreement on new measures to ensure air quality in the EU is not harmful to human health, natural ecosystems and biodiversity with the aim to eliminate air pollution by 2050.

The new rules slash the yearly limits for fine particulates known as PM2.5 – which wreak havoc on the whole body because they are small enough to slip into the bloodstream – from 25 µg/m³ to 10 µg/m³.

But the targets still allow twice as much pollution as the guideline levels set by the World Health Organization (5 µg/m³).

The law also gives citizens the right to compensation when governments fail to follow the measures and damage their health as a result.

All member states will have to create air quality roadmaps by 31 December 2028 that set out short- and long-term measures to comply with the new 2030 limit values as proposed by Parliament.

An EU-commissioned report worked out the net benefit to society each year to be €90bn (£77bn) if PM2.5 levels were limited to 15 µg/m3, and €123bn if they were brought down to 5 µg/m3.

The deal still has to be adopted by Parliament and the Council, after which the new law will be published in the EU Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later. EU countries will then have two years to apply the new rules.
1 week ago

Contaminació atmosfèrica: el Parlament i el Consell de la UE arriben a un acord per a millorar la qualitat de l'aire.

Les noves normes reduiran els límits anuals de PM2,5 de 25 µg/m³ a 10 µg/m³.

El dimarts, els negociadors del Parlament Europeu i del Consell van aconseguir un acord polític provisional sobre noves mesures per a garantir que la qualitat de l'aire a la UE no sigui perjudicial per a la salut humana, els ecosistemes naturals i la biodiversitat, amb l'objectiu d'eliminar la contaminació de l'aire per a 2050.

Les noves normes redueixen els límits anuals per a les partícules fines PM2,5 (que causen estralls en tot el cos perquè són prou petites per a passar al sistema sanguini) de 25 µg/m³ a 10 µg/m³.

Però els objectius encara permeten nivells que dupliquen els nivells orientatius establerts per l'Organització Mundial de la Salut (5 µg/m³).

La llei també atorga als ciutadans el dret a una compensació quan els governs no compleixen amb les mesures i, com a resultat, danyen la seva salut.

Tots els estats membres hauran de crear fulls de ruta sobre la qualitat de l'aire abans del 31 de desembre de 2028 amb mesures a curt i llarg termini i per a complir amb els nous valors límit per a 2030.

Un informe encarregat per la UE va calcular que el benefici net per a la societat cada any seria de 90.000 milions d'euros si els nivells de PM2,5 es limitessin a 15 µg/m³, i de 123.000 milions d'euros si es reduïssin a 5 µg/m³.

L'acord encara ha de ser adoptat pel Parlament i el Consell, després de la qual cosa la nova llei es publicarà i entrarà en vigor vint dies després. Els països de la UE tindran llavors dos anys per a aplicar les noves normes.
... See MoreSee Less

Contaminació atmosfèrica: el Parlament i el Consell de la UE arriben a un acord per a millorar la qualitat de laire.

Les noves normes reduiran els límits anuals de PM2,5 de 25 µg/m³ a 10 µg/m³.

El dimarts, els negociadors del Parlament Europeu i del Consell van aconseguir un acord polític provisional sobre noves mesures per a garantir que la qualitat de laire a la UE no sigui perjudicial per a la salut humana, els ecosistemes naturals i la biodiversitat, amb lobjectiu deliminar la contaminació de laire per a 2050.

Les noves normes redueixen els límits anuals per a les partícules fines PM2,5 (que causen estralls en tot el cos perquè són prou petites per a passar al sistema sanguini) de 25 µg/m³ a 10 µg/m³.

Però els objectius encara permeten nivells que dupliquen els nivells orientatius establerts per lOrganització Mundial de la Salut (5 µg/m³).

La llei també atorga als ciutadans el dret a una compensació quan els governs no compleixen amb les mesures i, com a resultat, danyen la seva salut.

Tots els estats membres hauran de crear fulls de ruta sobre la qualitat de laire abans del 31 de desembre de 2028 amb mesures a curt i llarg termini i per a complir amb els nous valors límit per a 2030. 

Un informe encarregat per la UE va calcular que el benefici net per a la societat cada any seria de 90.000 milions deuros si els nivells de PM2,5 es limitessin a 15 µg/m³, i de 123.000 milions deuros si es reduïssin a 5 µg/m³.

Lacord encara ha de ser adoptat pel Parlament i el Consell, després de la qual cosa la nova llei es publicarà i entrarà en vigor vint dies després. Els països de la UE tindran llavors dos anys per a aplicar les noves normes.
2 weeks ago

Hi ha nivells molt alts de contaminants PM 2,5 aquest matí en la zona més cèntrica del municipi, sobretot en la Plaça i Isabel II, on registrem nivells de 125 a 145.

sollerperlaire.org/ca/mapa/
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Hi ha nivells molt alts de contaminants PM 2,5 aquest matí en la zona més cèntrica del municipi, sobretot en la Plaça i Isabel II, on registrem nivells de 125 a 145.

https://sollerperlaire.org/ca/mapa/
3 weeks ago

Hem creat un grup per a la pàgina de Facebook "Sóller per l'Aire".

Us convid a unir-vos!

www.facebook.com/groups/1057641992183065/?ref=share

Aquí podeu posar tot relacionat amb la qualitat de l'aire i la contaminació atmosfèrica la vall de Sóller. I compartir-ho!

Podeu també afegir hashtags a les vostres entrades i imatges relacionades amb la contaminació de l'aire. Són els que suggeresc aquí.

Només cal copiar-los i enganxar-los a la teva entrada.

Amb els hashtags, podem localitzar fotos ràpidament. I més eficientment creuar post en plataformes com Instagram. Així arribarem a un públic més ampli i divers.

#SollerAire
#SollerAir
#SollerWinter
... See MoreSee Less

Hem creat un grup per a la pàgina de Facebook Sóller per lAire. 

Us convid a unir-vos!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1057641992183065/?ref=share

Aquí podeu posar tot relacionat amb la qualitat de laire i la contaminació atmosfèrica la vall de Sóller. I compartir-ho!

Podeu també afegir hashtags a les vostres entrades i imatges relacionades amb la contaminació de laire. Són els que suggeresc aquí. 

Només cal copiar-los i enganxar-los a la teva entrada. 

Amb els hashtags, podem localitzar fotos ràpidament. I més eficientment creuar post en plataformes com Instagram. Així arribarem a un públic més ampli i divers.

#SollerAire
#SollerAir
#SollerWinter
4 weeks ago

Aquest matí a partir de les 09.00 els sensors han registrat un augment de nivells de partícules PM 2,5. Vint minuts abans ens havia arribat una foto: ens mostra una crema de residus en el torrent en el centre de Sóller i a dins d'un dels hàbitats de conservació prioritària a nivell europeu. És probable que es tracti del mateix Ajuntament ... See MoreSee Less

Aquest matí a partir de les 09.00 els sensors han registrat un augment de nivells de partícules PM 2,5. Vint minuts abans ens havia arribat una foto: ens mostra una crema de residus en el torrent en el centre de Sóller i a dins dun dels hàbitats de conservació prioritària a nivell europeu. És probable que es tracti del mateix Ajuntament
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