Cyprus experienced high dust concentrations across the island on Monday, with authorities issuing a warning for above-average levels in the atmosphere.
Limassol had the highest dust levels in the atmosphere, followed by Paphos – both areas had three times the permitted health limit.
The dust is expected to remain above Cyprus until mid-week.
The department of labour inspection said that high dust concentrations had been measured at their ground stations for air quality monitoring network, with some areas reporting concentrations well above the safety level.
The public is warned to take precautions, with employers prompted to protect their employees’ health.
Vulnerable groups (children, older people) are advised to stay indoors because high dust concentrations may harm their health.
Employers must take appropriate measures after assessing any risks their employees face, especially while working in open spaces.
The labour inspection department recommended that people working outdoors use appropriate means of personal protection.
Morning dust concentrations were Limassol: 169.1 μg/m3; Paphos: 146.1 μg/m3; Nicosia: 91.8 μg/m3; Larnaca: 82.6 μg/m3; Ayia Marina Xyliatou: 61.1 μg/m3; Paralimni: 58.2 μg/m3 and Zygi: 52.2 μg/m3
The safety limit for respirable particulate matter of a diameter smaller than 10 μm (PM10) in the air is 50 μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic metre).
More information on Cyprus real-time air quality can be found online at www.airquality.gov.cy and through the free mobile application ‘Air Quality Cyprus’.
Dust concentrations may further increase during the evening.
On Monday, the weather will be mostly cloudy with light to moderate winds.
Maximum temperature will rise to around 21 degrees Celsius inland and on the coast, and 16°C degrees in the higher mountains.
On Tuesday, the weather will be unsettled with the possibility of showers.