By Wendy Williams
SPAIN was Europe’s most dangerous country for ozone pollution in 2010, it has emerged.
For the third year running Spain topped the list of days when the levels of the dangerous gas went above EU safety levels.
A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) showed that the country exceeded the daily limit of 120 micrograms per cubic metre on a staggering 169 days last year.
This is the threshold at which it is believed health can be affected by ground-level ozone pollution, a colourless, odourless gas, which is not emitted directly but is formed photo-chemically.
High levels of ozone in the air can affect your health, irritate your breathing, reduce lung function and cause asthma.
It can also damage the environment.
In total 17 European countries had over 25 days when the level was exceeded due to a combination of high temperatures and traffic fumes.
Most of these came in the summer months.
Environmental groups are criticising the government and local regions for not issuing warnings until the level reaches 180 micrograms per cubic metre.
Spain’s worst-affected town is Lorca, in Murcia, where a shocking 127 days went over safety levels.
“They call it the city of the sun. And it did not fall below 35 degrees throughout August,” said Murcia environment boss Juan Carlos Casado.
“In the case of ozone very little can be done.”