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Athens residents urged to stay inside due to heavy smog caused by forest fire

With an urgent warning the National Observatory of Athens called on residents of the Greek capital to stay at home with closed doors and windows due to the high concentration of micro-particles PM2.5 as a heavy smog cloud caused by the Varibobi forest fire has covered the Attica basin.

“The situation in many areas in Athens is bad due to the harmful fine particles PM2.5. We urge residents in area with high concentration of PM2.5 [deep red areas] to remain inside their homes and windows and doors wide shut.”

According to European platform PurpleAir Real time Air Quality Monitoring, the areas in Attica with the highest concentration of PM2.5 are around 6 o’ clock in the morning:

The fine particles (PM2.5) pose the greatest health risk. These fine particles can get deep into lungs and some may even get into the bloodstream. Exposure to these particles can affect a person’s lungs and heart, causing inflammation.

Late afternoon Tuesday the thick smoke from the Varympompi forest fire had moved to the south covering many suburbs. From the early morning hours of Wednesday, the smell of burning material was penetrating even inside homes in the south suburbs. Around 9 o’ clock in the morning, the smog was very low to the ground creating a suffocating atmosphere.

If one has to move outside, the National Observatory advises the wearing of masks N95, ΚΝ95 or FFP2.

On the day with high temperatures forecast up to 43-44 degrees Celsius due to the ongoing heatwave, the Observatory says that household air-condition applications recycle indoors air can therefore be in use.


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