Air quality in port cities is a major cause for concern, especially as more evidence emerges from epidemiological studies that show a direct correlation between illnesses associated with air pollution and proximity of homes to busy ports.
In preparation for a broad ranging citizen science air quality monitoring initiative, we are partners in a pilot study of atmospheric nitrogen oxide levels in the Mediterranean organised by the German environmental group NABU and coordinated by Cittadini per l’Aria. Other Italian partners are Ancona, Civitavecchia, Genoa, La Spezia, Livorno, Monfalcone, Naples, Savona and Trieste.
Sampling was carried out for 30 days between early June and early July. This interim report explains the work involved.
Specifically for Venice, it will be interesting to find out the relative weight on air quality of port activities (notably cruise ships) versus generalised water traffic in the lagoon. The aim of our work is not to demonise any particular sector but rather clarify the relative contributions to air pollution of different sectors to better focus the policy responses.
More generally, this Mediterranean scale alliance aims to bring about regulatory changes at European and national levels to create an Emissions Control Area with regulations imposing cleaner shipping fuels comparable to northern European standards.
Read more about the compelling case to turn the Mediterranean Sea into a sulphur Emissions Control Area here
Read more about WahV’s awareness raising campaigns here