5 tips from Finland to keep the air clean in cities

5 tips from Finland to keep the air clean in cities

The World Health Organization - WHO - has continuously reiterated the risk that air pollution implies in health, since it has been strongly related to a high morbidity derived fromcerebrovascular accidents, lung cancers and chronic and acute lung diseases such as asthma. According to their data, this type of pollution in cities and rural areas around the world caused 3 million premature deaths in 2012.

And it is that beyond the pollution generated by automobiles and means of transport, domestic emissions derived by the energy system based on coal and biomass, as well as the incineration of agricultural waste are phenomena that promote CO2 and pollutants such as black carbon and methane. In fact, and according to theWHO guidelines on air quality published in 2005, there are limits and thresholds for air pollutants to prevent health risks. In other words, to consider the air quality as good, contamination with PM10 particles needs to be reduced to at least 10 micrograms per cubic meter (? g / m). Especially the particles –PM–, ozone –O3–, nitrogen dioxide –NO2– and sulfur dioxide –SO2–; which are less than 10 microns in diameter -? PM10– which can penetrate, lodge inside the lungs and cause serious long-term health problems.

Faced with this, the WHO has published the geographical sites whose particle concentrations remain below 10 µg / m3:Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Estonia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, among others; as well as the sites with the worst air quality above 100 µg / m3: London, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Delhi, Bamenda in Cameroon, Baoding in China and Peshawar in Pakistan.

In the specific case of Finland, 22 of its cities Raahe, Kuopio, Lohja, Jyväskylä, Valkeakoski, Kajaani, Vaasa, Imatra, Pori, Mikkeli, Virolahti, Kouvola, Harjavalta, Turku, Kotka, Oulu, Lahti, Pietarsaari, Hypevinkänta, Lap , Vantaa, Helsinki, Tampere Pallas, Muonio and Virolahti, presented an air quality below 4 µg / m3. This country, compared to others in the same European Union, has developed measures in favor of the environment, and these are their advice on the subject:

- Protect the natural territory, such as parks and nature reserves. Finland protects about 7.8 percent of its green areas, in addition to establishing regulatory measures based on the timber industry and deforestation.

- Promote eco-sustainable tourism. For example, Lapland tourism is putting a strain on the region's environment, so the protection of its biodiversity is encouraged for both visitors and residents.

- Contemplate the cleaning of eutrophied waters. Although this process may take years or decades, the eutrophication of hydrological resources is a gradual change that improves the quality of the environment in urban places.

- Develop regulatory tools on emissions in industrial plants.Finland has controlled emissions from agriculture, transport, urban centers and industry. This has helped to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and particles, noise from transport and discharges to the waters of towns.

The promotion of renewable energies. Most of the energy consumed in Finland is renewable, which is generated “from residual bleach and wood residues that are by-products of forestry industry processes. Almost half of the wood consumed in Finland is burned for energy. Half of all the energy consumed is the product of the combustion of hydrocarbons, natural gas and coal. Nuclear energy produces 16% and peat 5%. The participation of nuclear energy will increase in the coming years, when the construction of the fifth reactor in the country is completed. "


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