The mask, has come to stay?

Air pollution is an invisible enemy, but the cause of 1 in 5 deaths worldwide (according to a report published in 2018 by Environmental Research). However, not all exposures, harmful particles, and risks are the same. The most harmful and dangerous is PM2.5, which are particles so small (less than 2.5 microns) that they can penetrate most of the body’s tissues.

Depending on the area of ​​the world, there is a greater or lesser concentration of these. For example, Hotan, in China, leads the list, according to the air quality ranking prepared by IQAir. If we focus on Europe, this study put the Polish city, Orzesze, in the lead, followed by Sarajevo, Valjevo in Serbia, and other cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We must move to position number 15 to find a Spanish City, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

On the other hand, if we look at NO2 pollution, Madrid leads the list of European cities with the highest pollution, followed by Antwerp (Belgium); Turin (Italy), Paris (France), Milan (Italy), Barcelona, and Mollet del Vallès (Spain) among others.

Due to the Covid19 pandemic, the use of masks has been normalized, but we must not forget that in countries such as China or Indonesia, their use has been common for many years and will continue to be mandatory. Do you think they could help prevent risks, at least during those days of the year with the highest level of pollution?

The news has been written by Dr. Carla Domínguez, obstetrician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu y de Sant Pau.