SMOKESCREEN: 13 Spanish cities accused of cover-up over 'dangerous' air pollution

Barcelona covered in smog Barcelona covered in smog @xavicabopapiol/Twitter

AN ENVIRONMENTAL group in Spain has claimed that 16 cities “regularly surpass” harmful levels of air pollution but only three have told their residents.

Ecologistas en Accion claim that A Coruña, Aviles, Bailen, Barcelona, Granada, Huelva, Lleida, Madrid, Murcia, Puertollano, Santander, Sevilla, Talavera de la Reina, Valencia, Valladolid and Zaragoza all surpass the toxic PM10 emission limits of 50 micrograms per cubic metre.

The group said “only Madrid and Valladolid have warned their citizens” and have implemented traffic restrictions to combat the pollution in a press release yesterday (Monday). Since then Barcelona has also introduced traffic restrictions in its city centre.

A further six cities – Barcelona, Getafe, Guadalajara, Salamanca, Sevilla and Zaragoza – have also reached dangerous levels of CO2 and have “not adopted any measure to protect the health of their citizens” according to Ecologistas en Accion.

They slammed the cities for “lacking both short-term and long-term solutions,” and demand immediate plans to address the situation.

According to the World Health Organisation, harmful air pollutants are responsible for an estimated 30,000 premature deaths every year in Spain.

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