THE Contamination Protocol has been activated in 40 towns of Barcelona due to worrying amounts of air pollution.
The Generalitat – Catalonia Regional Government – has activated said protocol this Friday (January 9) at 6am, and it is expected to run for the whole weekend.
Next Monday (January 12), workers of the General Department for Environmental Quality (DGCA) will evaluate if the pollution levels have diminished.
The reasons for the high levels of pollution registered have been attributed to the strong anticyclone and high atmospheric pressure, which prevent the dispersion of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and other particles in the atmosphere.
Levels of 180 micrograms/m3 of NOx have been registered recently, when the maximum amount is 200 micrograms, according to the current protocol.
The municipalities where the protocol has been activated are: Badalona, Barcelona, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Sant Adria de Besos, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Castelldefels, Cornella de Llobregat, Gava, Martorell, Molins de Rei, Esplugues de Llobregat, el Papiol, Palleja, Prat de Llobregat, Sant Andreu de la Barca, Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Sant Joan Despi, Sant Just Desvern, Sant Vicenç dels Horts, Viladecans, Badia del Valles y Barbera del Valles.
In addition, the maximum speed allowed on motorways has been reduced to 90km per hour in many towns, to reduce the impact of contamination.
Some industries have also been requested to limit their production while the protocol is operational.
High levels of NOx can seriously damage health, causing allergies and disease of the respiratory system, which can be especially acute in asthma patients or babies.
This is why it is advisable to avoid exercising outdoors during the weekend, as well as using public transport to contribute in the reduction of contamination levels.