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Denounce the deterioration of air quality for particulate Lorca (09/09/2009)

Ecologists in Action has denounced again by two letters sent to the city of Lorca and the Ministry of Agriculture and Water, which according to official data of the Ministry, has worsened PM10 pollution in Lorca this August.

During this month, almost one in two days has exceeded the PM10 limit value for health protection (50 micrograms per cubic meter).

The allegations themselves are based on official data that the Ministry of Agriculture and Water available on its website:

In total there have been 13 days which exceeded the limit value for PM10 particulate matter, with high exposure as of August 1st 80.1microgramos per cubic meter or day 7 to 69.2 micrograms per cubic meter.

The origin of this deterioration of air quality in Lorca is due to the emission of PM10 microparticles produced by traffic, industrial activities and agricultural work, which has joined in mid episodes of Saharan dust intrusion.

Ecologists in Action said that while it can do little about Saharan dust emissions, on the other hand neither the Council nor the Department have the mandatory Action Plans to control emissions from road traffic, industrial and agricultural tasks as required legislation (Royal Decree 1073/2002, of 18 October on the evaluation and management of air quality in relation to sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, lead, benzene and carbon monoxide )

The continued deterioration of air quality in Lorca microparticles PM10 air pollution is a significant problem that can have an impact on public health in the municipality.

PM10 particles affect the respiratory system and lungs.

These particulate pollutants are behind respiratory diseases, asthma, aggravation of allergic conditions and cardiovascular problems.

The study EMECAS (Spanish Multicenter Study of Short-Term Effects of Air Pollution on Health), 2004, notes that two days of high pollution levels were sufficient to raise mortality by 1.5% and PM10 particles increases provoke an increase of 1% of income from all cardiovascular causes.

The Environment Ministry itself acknowledges that each year there are 16,000 premature deaths in Spain linked to air pollution.

Ecologists in Action is concerned by the apathy shown to the deteriorating air quality in Lorca, both by the City or by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water, which does not perform any preventive measures or activities to avoid this increase in pollution and deteriorating air quality by PM10.

This organization has indicated on several occasions, alternative measures are needed to moderate the traffic as well as greater control of emissions from industrial activities and action plans to reduce and control the traffic in the municipality.

Finally, Ecologists in Action said that since June 2009, after months of reported episodes of toluene and benzene pollution in Murcia and Cartagena Sewell, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water has withdrawn from its website public reporting of pollution levels Toluene, Benzene and Xylene detected measuring stations in the autonomous region, and that until that date were available to the general public.

This step back, and crude strategy of concealment of evidence, in addition to not solving the problem of pollution episodes associated with industrial production process, denouncing the organization, is an unacceptable obscurantist attitude is difficult to access public information , more typical of the past, and that goes against international conventions on government transparency and access to information by citizens.

Unfortunately, with such facts, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water shows its true face, and goes to show again the lack of willingness of the regional administration to ensure the health of the citizens of this region, keeping the uninformed actual quality of the air we breathe every day.

Source: Ecologistas en Acción

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