High pollution in Luxembourg due to fire works
(vb/sth) – Exploding fire crackers and fire works are causing high pollution. During the New Year's celebrations, the measured concentration of particulate matter in the atmosphere was higher than on any other day of the year. According to Luxembourg's Environment administration, the weather was favourable to evacuate the pollution quickly this year.
Especially in the cities, measured values are skyrocketing during New Year's eve. This pollution is the downside of the fun fire works and fire crackers traditionally bring to those celebrating. The smoke that is produced from fire works and fire crackers contains particulate matter which, if present in big quantities, can be breathed in and cause problems.
In Luxembourg, three different stations in Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg city and Beidweiler are measuring the concentration of particulate matter. The current values can be found here. Both of the cities were largely affected around midnight on New Year's Eve, measuring values of 100 micro grams of particulate matter per cubic metre of air. “One year ago, those results were even higher. At the time, we measured an average of 500 micro grams per hour in Esch/Alzette”, Pierre Dornseiffer, Coordinator at the “Service des émissions athmosphériques” says.
This chart (above) from the Luxembourg Environment administration shows the concentration of particulate matter in Luxembourg city during the last few days. It is clearly visible that the concentration on midnight at New Year's eve is twice as high as the recommended limit.
During the past New Year's celebration it was cold and foggy. Particulate matter values can be very high if there is no wind and a so-called inversion, causing cold air to lie on top of the air layer close to the ground and thus preventing air circulation. This means that it depends on the weather, whether the particulate matter is evacuated quickly after the fire works or not. If there is enough wind, they are transported away rather quickly.
Breathing in particulate matter can be dangerous for health. Effects can range from temporarily respiratory troubles, to an increased need for medication for asthmatics, to infections of the respiratory tract or cardiovascular problems.