Smoke from blazes led to major air pollution in Athens


The high concentrations of airborne microparticles in the atmosphere of the Greek capital due to the large wildfire that raged across the island of Evia had dropped Wednesday from the levels observed on Tuesday, according to the director of the Institute for Environmental and Sustainable Development Research, Nikos Michalopoulos.

Speaking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) on Wednesday, Michalopoulos said that Tuesday was “a difficult day” with high concentrations of airborne particles almost everywhere in the Attica basin.

“Today, the situation is much better. There is a clear improvement. Levels are down by about 50 percent,” he said.

Michalopoulos added however that levels of airborne microparticles remain relatively high. Before the Evia fire started, concentrations were at 15-20 micrograms per cubic meters, but that figure had jumped to 80-90 mg/m3 by Tuesday noon.

“Today levels are clearly lower, at 30-40 mg/m3. Levels on Tuesday were four to five times higher than usual for August and they they are now twice as high.”