Clean Air Solutions / May 16, 2019 / -- With a history dating back to 4,000 B.C., Skopje is one of the oldest cities in the world. Today, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia bears the distinction of having the worst air pollution in all of Europe, forcing citizens to protect themselves with high efficiency air filters when staying indoors.
In fact, data from the World Health Organization reveals that in 2017, three out of the top 10 cities with the worst air quality are in Macedonia, prompting authorities to take emergency measures to fight uncontrolled air pollution levels in the country. Sadly, these efforts have yet to have any real effect.
It’s estimated that more than 1,300 premature deaths per year happen in the Macedonian capital due to air pollution exposure. Particulate matter (PM) pollution is of special concern to health officials in the country.
Understanding Skopje’s Outdoor and Indoor Air Quality Problems
PM levels in the atmosphere above Skopje have been observed to be more than 10 times higher than the air quality guidelines set by the European Union. This includes coarse particulate matter, or PM10 and fine particulate matter, or PM2.5 and below. Fine particle pollution is especially dangerous as these pollutants are small and light enough to stay suspended in the air for hours, often entering homes, buildings, and schools, through gaps and cracks on doors, walls and windows.
Home Air Purifiers a Luxury in Skopje
Air pollution is so rampant in Skopje and the rest of Macedonia that many citizens are forced to buy home air purifiers to prevent themselves and their families from breathing in dirty air. But these devices are a luxury—the average air purifier costs around 400 euros, nearly the average monthly salary.
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