NEWS

Airborne particles

The ash that floated over the Attica basin after the fire on Mount Parnitha was visible. The fire also released other dangerous, but invisible, pollutants. The Laser Development and Applications Laboratory at the National Technical University of Athens developed the Lidar system to track airborne waste in Athens. Measurements on June 27-29 showed that the fire generated a huge amount of airborne waste. Airborne particles were trapped up to a height of 2,400 meters, heavily polluting the air. Experts said that sunshine on the days after the fire would greatly increase the level of ozone, which had already shot up to 250-300 milligrams per cubic meter. Tiny (0.3 millimeter) airborne particles were trapped up to a height of 1,700 meters. For the first time, the Lidar system showed certain areas in red – indicating the most heavily polluted. They were airborne particles measuring 0.5 mm that collected in the atmosphere at up to 2,400 meters. Medium to large-sized particles (1-3 mm) were also trapped in the air up to 2,400 meters. The Lidar system periodically measures the distribution of airborne particles, but during a crisis such as last week’s forest fires, it takes continuous measurements.