Belgium: High ozone concentrations measured; Brussels exceeds 180μg/m3

Europe: High ozone concentrations were measured in Belgium due to the warm weather on Saturday, with the Uccle measurement network in Brussels recording levels that exceeded the European ozone concentration of 180 μg/m3.

At the Uccle measurement station in Brussels, a maximum hourly concentration of 181 μg/m3 was reported at 20:00, surpassing the European information threshold, at which point the population must be informed of the levels recorded, according to the Interregional Environment Cell.

Moreover, by 22:00, ozone concentration decreased slightly to 157 μg/m3. High maximum hourly concentrations were also reached in Flanders, where 177 μg/m3 was recorded in Aarschot, while in Wallonia, the highest level was 170 μg/m3, recorded at the Rixensart measuring point.

During high ozone concentrations, as a preventive measure, people who are particularly sensitive to air pollution, such as children, older people, people with respiratory problems, etc., should avoid unusual physical and outdoor exercise between noon and 22:00.

People exposed to high amounts of ozone may develop irritation in their eyes, nose, and throat, as well as respiratory and cardiovascular symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and wheezing.

Along with this, pollutants generated by autos, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources chemically react in the presence of sunshine, resulting in high ozone concentrations.

Temperatures will be significantly lower inland (about 21-22°C) with bouts of rain in the following days, while thunderstorms are possible locally.

The air quality will improve, and ozone concentrations will drop to typical levels for this time of year. The cell stated that “no exceedance of the ozone threshold is expected” and that the High Heat and Ozone Peaks Plan’s warning phase had ended.

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