Cyprus continues to suffer from high dust levels

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Cyprus continues to suffer from high levels of dust particles in the atmosphere, the Department of Labour Inspection said on Saturday, three times above normal readings, causing respiratory problems to many and the weather warmer than usual.

Measurements from ground stations of the Air Quality Monitoring Network showed Nicosia to be worst off with 9am readings at 164.7 micrograms per cubic meter, higher than Thursday’s 103.7  μg/m3 and triple the ‘safe’ marker of 50 μg/m3.

Limassol was stable, with increases in Larnaca and Zygi, and a drop in dust particle levels in Paphos and Paralimni.

“The public, and particularly any vulnerable groups of population (children, older people, and the infirm) are urged to avoid circulating in open spaces until the observed episode has elapsed, as the small size of respirable particles in dust may have negative effects on human health,” the Labour Inspection Dept. warned.

It added that employers must take appropriate measures and assess any risks that their employees may face while working in open areas, and it is recommended that workers in such spaces use appropriate means of personal protection.

In detail, the dust concentrations measured at 9 am Saturday (vs Thursday) are:

Nicosia:                 164.7 μg/m3             (103.7)

Limassol:              74.9 μg/m3                (73.9)

Larnaca:                77.6 μg/m3                (56.8)

Paralimni:             61.9 μg/m3                (85.1)

Paphos:                 78.2 μg/m3                (87.8)

Zygi:                       36.3 μg/m3                (20.2)

Agia Marina Xyliatou:        41.8 μg/m3                (38.9)

The Labour Inspection Dept. explained that ‘dust’ refers to respirable particulate matter of a diameter smaller than 10 μm (PM10) in the air. According to the relevant legislation, a limit value not to be exceeded is set for the daily average concentrations at 50 μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter).