Malta registered more air pollution due to construction and traffic

LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – According to the 2023 World Air Quality Report published by Swiss air quality technology company IQAir, Maltàs air has more than double the number of pollutants recommended by World Health Authority (WHO) guidelines. Last year, Malta recorded an average of 12 micrograms of fine particles per cubic metre. Fine particles include pollutants such as sulfates, black carbon, nitrates and ammonium and refer to those measuring just 2.5 millionths of a metre (PM2.5) – around one-fiftieth the width of a human hair. Such microscopic particles, while small, can be hugely damaging to human health due to being easily absorbed into the lungs and bloodstream, leading to asthma, cancer, strokes and lung disease, and have been linked to car usage and construction, among other factors. These results for Malta appear against a backdrop of rampant construction and increased car use, neither of which have seen sign of slowing down in the last five years. According to Eurostat data showed how Malta had the highest increase in new building permits among EU states between 2021 and 2022, despite permits decreasing in most member countries. Meanwhile, the number of cars in Malta has continued to ramp up over the years, now topping 420,000 with a daily increase of around 30 new cars being added to the roads. The concentration of fine particles in Malta was more than double the recommended WHO threshold of 5 micrograms per cubic metre and put the country in 49th place of the 134 countries included in the report, when listed from best to worst. Maltàs results confirm the country has had little success improving its air quality over the last five years, with fine particle levels hovering at around the same levels since 2018. In Europe, Malta classified at the 26th place when listed from best to worst. The country on the continent with the cleanest air was Iceland, which measured a PM2.5 reading of 4.
– Photo credit Tourism Office –

Source: medNews