If you live in Athens, can you feel that typical stingy, acrid smell in the air today (and yesterday)?
You can clearly see it on a Purple Air map:
I am not talking about the wood smoke smell that we feel at night, which is extreme too. I refer to the typical traffic-related smell right now, during the day, which is due to all those thousands of illegal, unserviced, ancient, non-efficient car/trucks/buses/motorcycles circulating in this city.
And because the air pressure is high and there is no wind these days, all that smell gets stuck very low at people’s height and makes our life more miserable.
People sneeze more these days, their eyes get irritated, and even get a headache, but they don’t realize the why of it.
Well, that smell is not only a smell, it is a cocktail of chemical compounds that kills more than COVID. Think about it when you smell it. It kills you and your children more than COVID. It just does it on the long term, but we don’t notice it. That’s why Air Pollution is called the SILENT KILLER.
Almost 9.000.000 people die because of it around the world, every year.
16.000 Greeks among them, which equals to 2 Greeks dying every hour.
That’s unacceptable in 2021. Governments and municipalities must finally act and help us renovate all our vehicles and heating systems, and create more people-friendly cities. Actually Greece could do this much faster than other EU countries like Germany for example, because we have a smaller population and especially we have so little industry, which is a heavy polluter.
Don’t forget it: To breathe CLEAN AIR is a basic human right, like having access to clean water. Would you drink murky, brownish water? So why do we have to breathe such an Air?
PS. The haze in the picture is what I am talking about. It’s smog, meaning smoke + fog. In this case it is not really fog, but humidity that keeps the pollution low down over the city. Not good at all!