Poor air quality in Rīga

For several days, the air quality in Latvia, especially Rīga, has been poor, environmental health expert Ivars Vanadziņš told Latvian Television on March 17.

The reasons are various: heating pollution, cars, and the weather which does not allow for the dispersion of particles. 

“The figures also show that very many substances have grown. There are both nitrogen dioxide and 2.5 PM of smallest dust particles – aerosols that are the most dangerous,” Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Center Environment expert Aleksandra Kaniščeva said.

"This kind of dust... The problem is that they are actually chemicals, very aggressive. We are also guaranteed to inhale them. The deeper we breathe in the long term, those risks are associated with the so-called development of chronic inflammation. Chronic obstructive lung disease is developing in the lungs, which is then also the cause of premature death for many people," said Vanadziņš.

For people with chronic diseases, lung or cardiovascular diseases, Vanadziņš recommends the use of a respirator outdoors for at least a few days while the situation returns to normal.

“I suppose it is not particularly popular now, in the spring of 2022, to call for the use of respirators outdoors again,” Vanadziņš said. Environment specialist Kaniščeva also said that Latvia is paying too little attention to the health impact of polluted air.

You can follow the air quality indicators on the homepage of the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Center.

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