May 22, 2024

Air quality is bad – Milan has been suffering from smog for days – News


Figures from a Swiss company show poor air quality in the Pau region. Milan and eight other provinces in the region are taking measures to combat this.

Figures released by Swiss environmental company IQAir show that Milan's air quality is among the worst in the world. At the weekend, the city's air quality was listed as third worst. Only Dhaka in Bangladesh and Chengdu in China had worse air than Milan. According to the environment agency Arpa, several limit values ​​were significantly exceeded at the weekend.

According to Italian SRF correspondent Franco Patel, the current claims have sparked opposition: “Milan Mayor Beppe Sala disputes these data. But one thing is clear: the air in Milan’s Po Valley is very bad.


Fine dust pollution in the city of Milan, northern Italy, is high. It is currently one of the worst in the world.

Keystone/EPA ANSA/Matthew Corner

The high level of fine dust pollution has been causing problems for the densely populated region of northern Italy for some time. Therefore, Milan and eight other provinces in the region responded and adopted measures to combat the problem, including:

  • Partial ban on diesel driving
  • Set heaters to a maximum of 19 degrees
  • No heating with wood
  • Do not light open fires
  • Call not out if possible

The mentioned measures are taken almost every winter. Smog is a known problem in some major Italian cities, especially during the cold season. The Po Valley in the north is particularly affected due to lack of air circulation.

This is due, among other things, to the geographical location among high mountains. In addition, due to the high population density in the area, there are many vehicles and homes that emit emissions. Wind and little rain make things more difficult. In addition, public transportation is not as developed as in Switzerland, for example, which is why many people prefer to use a car.

Limit values ​​for exhaust gases apply throughout Europe, but Italy does not adhere to them. The European Court of Justice has already sentenced Italy to a fine. But changing this is not easy, Patel explains: “For example, there is a lack of better heating or even a denser public transport network. And if you want to change the situation, you have to take long-term measures. This is a process that takes years, and most importantly It is very expensive”.

Rain: Not a sustainable solution, but a short-term solution

At least there is an improvement in the short term: rain is expected in the Po region in the coming days – after weeks of very little rain. Rain washes exhaust gases and particulates from the air – so the pollution cycle begins again.

Thousands of respiratory diseases

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Some studies say that thousands of people die in the Po Valley every year from acute respiratory diseases, explains Franco Patel. Poor air quality, especially fine dust, is also said to play a major role in these diseases. However, it is difficult to prove the role played by air pollution in individual cases. But the controversy over this issue is taking place in Italy.”

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