Ecologists in Action have warned that the current heat wave in parts of Spain, including the Balearics, is triggering bad ozone and pushing levels above those established for health protection.
The association explains that the heat wave has increased the levels of tropospheric ozone because of traffic pollution in cities and on the main roads and also because of electricity production to meet demand from greater use of air-conditioning. The situation is such that in the city of Valladolid, traffic in the centre has been restricted for four days.
Regions that are particularly affected, other than the Balearics, include Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia and inland Andalusia. The association points out that the level for health protection is 120 micrograms per cubic metre of air, measured in eight-hour periods and that this should not be exceeded on more than 25 days a year. Already this spring, it reports, values have been exceeded at various control stations, three of them being Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza.
People who are at risk are being advised to avoid physical activity. Ecologists in Action say that the inhalation of this type of ozone "causes an increase in the risk of acute respiratory disease and a reduction in lung function as well as an aggravation of cardiovascular pathologies".
On Thursday, highs in Majorca just about nudged the 100F mark (37.8C). Yesterday they were down by three or four degrees, overnight temperatures having been up to 24C in some areas.
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