Ultrafine particles, a practically invisible pollutant but extremely harmful to health, revealed concentrations with “very high peaks” near Humberto Delgado Airport “and even in Jardim do Campo Grande, next to a children's playground”, warns Zero.
“In areas far from the influence of the airport and planes, the measured concentrations of these particles are much lower”.
The issue – Zero points out – is that ultrafine particles “are not systematically monitored, nor are they legislated in Portugal”, despite the damage they cause to health.
In Lisbon, extra fine particles originate mainly from the combustion reactions of car and airplane engines, with health effects ranging from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases to cancer and diabetes.
“Children are especially vulnerable and even babies, still in the womb, can be affected”, highlights the association.
Zero recalls that it has been warning about the “serious environmental problem” that Humberto Delgado Airport represents and accuses the authorities of being “conniving”.
In contrast, the association recommends some measures to address the high amount of ultrafine particles in some areas of Lisbon: implement, in the short term, a monitoring system, especially in the areas most affected by the airport's activity; and evaluate and optimize aircraft landing and take-off procedures, in order to reduce concentrations at ground level.
The third recommendation involves the closure of Humberto Delgado Airport, “incompatible with acceptable public health levels in Lisbon”.
Zero understands that the airport should be deactivated “in the next five, maximum seven years, opting for a location as far away as possible from population clusters and with minimal environmental, social and economic damage”.