Air pollution law broken in 72 Italian cities

76% of Italian cities broke air pollution guidelines in 2022

Environment News

Environmental association Legambiente said in a report that 72 out of 95 Italian cities did not comply with the air pollution law in 2022. Milan and Turin were top air polluters across different readings.

 Legambiente said 76% of Italian cities broke the air pollution law. That is because their average level of Pm10 particles was above the World Health Organisation’s air quality guideline (AQG) level of 20 micrograms per cubic metre of air.

That means only 23 cities, 24% of the total, were below the threshold.

Milan and Turin among the biggest polluters

The report said the cities with the greatest Pm10 pollution were Turin and Milan, where cuts of 43% are needed. They were followed by Cremona (42%), Andria (41%) and Alessandria (40%).

For the finer Pm2.5 particles, Monza was the most badly affected with a 60% reduction needed. For this reading, Monza was followed by Milan, Cremona, Padua and Vicenza, which needed cuts of 57%.

When it came to nitrogen dioxide levels, the following cities need to work hardest to reduce their levels: Milan (47%), Turin (46%), Palermo (44%), Como (43%), Catania (41%) and Rome (39%).

“The pollution degrowth trend is too slow, exposing cities to new health risks and penalties,” Legambiente’s report said.

How to reduce air pollution levels

The association said there is a variety of ways in which to cut air pollution. These were having more and bigger areas of cities with traffic limitations, plus boosting public transport and shared mobility.

“The direct effects of pollution on human health regard various systems and organs,” said Alessandro Miani, the president of the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (SIMA), commenting on the report.

“The indirect effects lead to an increase of up to 14% in cancer incidence in the polluted areas.”

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