If until now I thought Milan to be the capital of fashion and great soccer, things have changed and surprisingly they have another badge to add. Milan is the “Pollution Capital of Europe” and the main reasons to believe so, are toxic fumes from traffic clogged streets.
photo by Dunc-It
However, the fact that they rank first place on pollution in Europ isn’t the biggest shock or concern. Macedonio Melloni hospital warned that such levels of pollution are considered guilty for high infant mortality rates and for making children sick. Breathing problems, heart diseases and cancer are the effects of very high levels of pm10s which are extremely small particles coming from car exhausts, that affect both adult people and in particular children.
Research conducted by Dr Fiocchi from the Macedonio Melloni hospital revealed that in a 10-day period when pm10s levels where averaging 67 ug/m3, 176 admissions have been recored, while on another 10-day period that averaged 110 ug/m3 which is way over the limit, the admissions topped at 401 more than double. February 15 is the record with pm10s levels reaching 185 micrograms per cubic meter of air, which is almost 4 times over the official limit.
“The figures confirmed the urgent need to limit the damage that is affecting one child in four in the region” he said.
Ironically, the fact that the air in Milan is so bad comes a few months the Ecopass system – a daily pass that you pay money for to enter the city – has been put in place.
Lung specialist, Prof Luigi Allegra of Milan University has pointed out a few ways of fighting with air pollution in Milan, out of which creating new metro lines and better public transportation are just a few. He also mentioned that diesel cars use should be discouraged because diesel engines provide 100 times more pm10s.
There are solutions, they just need to accept that there’s a problem.