IT’S a finding that won’t surprise anyone living in Gibraltar.
A recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report has found La Linea to have the worst air pollution in Spain. The Algeciras Bay is home to one of the country’s largest petrochemical refineries.
Four other Andalucian towns were also included in the worst ten polluted list.
WHO’s urban air quality database covered 1600 cities across 91 countries showing more cities worldwide are monitoring outdoor air quality alongside growing recognition of air pollution’s health risks.
The shocking report highlighted the fact that half of the urban population is exposed to air pollution that is at least 2.5 times higher than the levels WHO recommends – putting those people at additional risk of serious, long-term health problems.
The WHO has called for greater awareness of health risks caused by air pollution, implementation of effective air pollution mitigation policies and close monitoring worldwide.
“Too many urban centres today are so enveloped in dirty air that their skylines are invisible,” said Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General for Family, Children and Women’s Health.
“Not surprisingly, this air is dangerous to breathe. So a growing number of cities and communities worldwide are striving to better meet the needs of their residents – in particular children and the elderly.”
The report wasn’t all gloom and doom for Andalucia, however. Marbella was rated by the WHO as the third-best city in Spain for air quality.
Ten most polluted Spanish cities
1. La Línea de la Concepción, Cádiz (18 microgramos/m3)
2. Toledo (17 microgramos/m3)
3. Málaga (17 microgramos/m3)
4. Barcelona (16 microgramos/m3)
5. Granada (16 microgramos/m3)
6. Jaén (16 microgramos/m3)
7. Logroño (16 microgramos/m3)
8. Sevilla (16 microgramos/m3)
9. Valencia (14 microgramos/m3)
10. Pamplona (14 microgramos/m3)