Attica Region recommends sensitive groups within the tourists’ population in the basin to limit intensive outdoor activities, especially during the late evening and early morning hours, due to a new burden on the concentrations of fine suspended particles that has been observed in Attica attributed to the wildfire smoke from Evia.
George Patoulis, Governor of Attica Region: "We will continue to inform tourists and visitors in Attica for their health safety in relation to air quality which we monitor throughout the region in response to the wildfires’ disaster "
A new burden has been recorded on Tuesday in the atmosphere of Attica in terms of concentration of fine particles (PM2.5) despite the relative improvement that was observed on Sunday and Monday by the network of sensors of PANACEA National Research Infrastructure operated in Attica by the Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development of the National Observatory of Athens. Scientists attribute the phenomenon to the transport of wildfire smoke originating from the region of Central and Northern Evia, where the fires are still burning
The new increase of PM2.5 particles (> 50 μg m-3) was observed since the first midnight hours of Tuesday, especially in the North, West and Central sector of Attica Region, as well as in Athens downtown. Pollution conditions were flagged as “moderate”, and loading was steadily recorded until 12:00 noon on Tuesday 10/8.
In response to this, the Attica Region calls citizens and tourists belonging to sensitive and vulnerable groups, adults, elderly and children, to pay special attention to any symptoms relevant to wildfire smoke and limit intensive outdoor activities in the city and countryside, especially from late evening to early morning hours, when higher concentration levels of fine suspended particles are favored as they re trapped closer to the ground.
The levels of particulate pollution can change at any time depending on the direction and intensity of the prevailing winds in the area, as well as the spatial evolution of the fire.
Attica Region will continue to inform the general population and tourists of Attica regarding the effects on air quality after the fire on August 3 as well as the new fires in Evia, in the framework of the cooperation of the Region with the National Observatory of Athens.
In any significant change of the situation, mainly regarding the fire in Evia that is in progress, there will be a new update.
Information, on an hourly basis, is further accessed through the platform of the National Research Infrastructure PANACEA (https://air-quality.gr/)
Attica Region monitors air quality
Attica Region in collaboration with the National Observatory of Athens is on the alert for recording and mapping high levels of concentration of PM2.5 particles and soot, exploiting data from a dense network of sensors deployed in the Region and state-of-the-art instrumentation at the center of the city.
Risks form Wildfire Smoke
Wildfire smoke is a mix of hazardous gases and fine particles from burning trees and plants, buildings, and other material. Close to the fires, but also many kilometers away, smoke can still be of serious health risk, because it contains a mixture of gases and small particles part of them toxic that can irritate the eyes and respiratory system. Exposure to particulate matter is the main public health threat from short-term exposure to wildfire smoke.
Wildfire smoke irritates eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. It can make it hard to breathe and make you cough or wheeze. Children pregnant women, and people with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or heart disease, need to be especially careful about inhaling wildfire smoke.
Governor of Attica Region , George Patoulis stated: " With the assistance of reputable Greek scientists and the official instructions of international organizations, we will continue to constantly inform the citizens, tourists and visitors of Attica about airquality and health safety . In response to the catastrophic disaster travler’s health remains our priority "