Pollution is growing to be more and more of a most worrisome issue for citizens, having been considered a major health hazard for many years now. When you consider air pollution, you may think of cases in the world’s largest cities in overcrowded urban areas in countries like China and India, where you hear about growing levels of environmental pollution that cause people to wear masks to protect their lungs from their unhealthy air. In Spain, luckily, we have not reached those levels yet, but big cities like Madrid and Barcelona are reaching higher and higher levels of pollution and getting closer to that line. Today in this article from ShBarcelona we will be talking about pollution in the Ciudad Condal and the neighborhoods with the cleanest air.
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Breathe easy in these Barcelona neighborhoods
Barcelona, in spite of its many benefits and perks, has recently undergone higher incidents of contamination that have scientists on high alert. Incidents of contamination are considered to be those in which the levels of contaminants in the atmosphere are higher than the recommended maximum levels as dictated by the European Union. This excess of contaminants causes health problems for citizens, not to growing numbers of allergies related to the horrible air quality. The most vulnerable populations to these risk caused by air pollution include young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses or respiratory problems. As previously mentioned, those with allergies can also experience worsened symptoms.
Health officials recommend that the population listen to the following pieces of advice to protect their lungs and avoid health problems – if there is an alert regarding potentially bad air quality, it is best to limit your physical exercise in the outdoors, especially for those in the aforementioned more vulnerable groups. If an alert states that the levels of contamination have surpassed the recommended maximum, then avoid outdoor physical exercise altogether. To mitigate the negative health effects of pollution, health officials recommend the following – either walking or biking through the city or using public transport when possible, sharing private transport with others when you can and using heat and air conditioning in moderation at your home and place of work. It is also recommended to ventilate and air out rooms at times of less traffic. In order to limit harmful emissions from your car, change some of the functions in your car such as adjusting the tire pressure and both starting and braking carefully.
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Some neighborhoods in Barcelona have better air quality than others. Generally, the districts with more dense populations, such as Ciutat Vella or Sant Martí, are those with the worst air quality. On the other hand, the higher-elevation districts with more green spaces and less dense population have better air quality. This is the case in the highest parts of Gracia, the Horta-Guinardó neighborhood and the high areas of Sarrià. The Ayuntamiento de Barcelona also allows you to view the air quality in Barcelona in real time via their interactive forecast map.
What neighborhood do you live in? Do you notice the effects of air pollution?