Pollution warning extended to all of Catalonia
PM10 particulate levels are moderate to high with situation expected to continue over weekend
The Ministry of Territory and Sustainability has decided to extend a preventive warning for air pollution throughout Catalonia. A warning was initially issued for parts of the greater Barcelona area on Thursday.
A preventive warning occurs before a possible environmental episode, which may not necessarily come to pass. In fact, the purpose of the warning is to reduce pollutant emissions, in order make such an environmental episode less likely.
The combination of current levels of PM10 particles (particle matter less than 10 microns in diameter) and the forecast of the arrival of dust from the Sahara means the warning is expected to remain in force throughout the weekend.
The daily limit (50 micrograms per cubic meter) of PM10 has already been surpassed today in several areas across Catalonia, including Barcelona, Sabadell and Tarragona.
Members of the public are urged to make journeys on foot or by bicycle where possible and to use public transport instead of private vehicles in order to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads. Other recommendations from the Catalan government include lowering the temperature of thermostats, reducing the use of air conditioning and ensuring that heaters are operating efficiently.
Particulate levels will continue to be monitored with three possible courses of action: the deactivation of the preventive warning, a continuation of the preventive warning, or if levels rise, the activation of an episode of particulate pollution.