Through the roof

Ozone pollution levels exceeded legal levels in Lorca for half of April

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Car exhaust fumes contribute towards ground-level ozone pollution levels

By Richard Torné

Environmental pressure group Ecologistas en Acción has called on Murcia’s regional government to drastically reduce carbon emissions after ozone pollution levels exceeded legal limits for two weeks in Lorca and Caravaca last month.

EA said it had lodged a number of complaints after Murcia’s environment ministry revealed that ‘bad ozone’ levels (also described as ‘ground-level’ ozone) had topped the daily limit of 120 micrograms per cubic metre during 15 days in Lorca and 13 days in Caravaca in April.

Bad ozone (O3) is caused when oxides of nitrogen and organic compounds (hydrocarbons), which are produced largely by vehicles, react to sunlight.

Ozone pollution can cause a number of respiratory ailments, as well as heart-related problems, particularly for the elderly and young.

EA pointed out that if the trend continued both cities would soon surpass their annual ozone threshold concentration, which is 25 days.

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