The Ministry of Environment has prepared a report on pollution in Romania, and the results seem good at first glance, but should be read in another note. This forces the Government to take drastic measures for a healthy environment.
Pollution is a big problem in the big cities of Romania and beyond. Government programs have not really achieved their goal so far, and a healthy environment is not only achieved by removing cars with classic engines from the roads. In this context, the figures for the European Environment Agency say it all.
According to an organization report, Romania ranks first in Europe in mortality caused directly or indirectly by pollution. In other words, one in five deaths could be attributed to problems caused by a polluted environment.
How much pollution there is in Romania
In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, these figures need to be looked at even more closely. The report shows that Romania is the country with the highest share of deaths caused by pollution – 19%. Bulgaria and Hungary are still around in the rankings. The countries with a slightly lower percentage of deaths due to environmental problems – 11% – are those in Western Europe – Germany, France and Spain.
At the opposite pole, Sweden and Denmark have a 10% mortality rate due to pollution, the lowest in Europe.
The pandemic is an additional problem.
“Particles that appear in the air as a result of pollution, inhaled into the airways, trigger local inflammatory processes, processes that promote infection with viruses or bacteria. If we talk about street pollution, the mask has a protective role against inhaling a large amount of pollutants “, says Beatrice Mahler, Marius Nasta Hospital Manager.
At European level, more than 400,000 people die each year from diseases caused by pollution, data obtained from the analysis of figures provided by the World Health Organization.
What the official data say
As I said, at first sight, the Ministry of Environment shows that things are kept under control. The 2019 report sent to the European Commission shows that all 12 air pollutants were measured, both their daily value and their annual value. There are 148 stations that are part of the National Air Quality Monitoring Network.
The ministry claims that, last year, there were no exceedances of the annual limit value at any station. Exceedances of the daily limit value were, however, at 54 stations, and at 5 stations more than 35 overtaking were registered: 49 overtaking at AB-2 Sebeș (industrial station), 46 overtaking at B-3 Bucharest (Mihai Bravu ) (traffic station), 38 overtaking at B-6 Bucharest (Cercul Militar) (traffic station), 54 overtaking at IS-1 (Podul de Piatra) (traffic station) and 36 overtaking at IS-2 Iași (Decebal ) (urban background station).
However, non-governmental organizations have repeatedly drawn attention to these officially presented data. They would not reflect the reality on the ground and would not take into account all indicators. And the lungs of Romanians tend to give justice to those who challenge the official figures.