The lungsof Athens are struggling to survive as Greece continues to be subjected to the catastrophic wildfires taking place in the country. The thick smog and smoke resulting from the fires have caused the air quality to plummet to dangerously low levels, posing a serious health hazard for locals and tourists alike.
The Greek government has implemented emergency measures to help mitigate the hazardous air quality. This includes the closure of primary and secondary schools, a ban on outdoor burning, the extension of public transportation hours, and free distribution of masks to residents. However, the main challenge which still remains is the need to reduce the concentration of harmful pollutants.
One of the ways to do this is through increased public awareness, so that people are encouraged to significantly reduce their own activities which contribute to the pollution. This includes limiting the use of private cars, enforcing tighter regulations on industrial activities such as manufacturing and construction. Additionally, planting more vegetation and trees around urban centers will help to create a natural filter to trap pollutants and absorb them.
Ultimately, the battle to protect Athens’ lungs has become a losing one in the face of Greece’s unprecedented wildfires and in order to save it, citizens and policy makers must take immediate action to reduce air pollution and protect the health of Athens’ citizens and visitors.