L'air pollution represents an important risk factor for environmental and human health: its effects are now documented by numerous clinical studies. In Italy the motorization rate is very high and this leads to frequent exceeding of air quality standards.
Istat has published data on the state environmental of our cities: in the Italian provincial capitals there are 614 cars per thousand inhabitants, of which more than half are Euro 0, I, II and III, therefore more polluting than the Euro IV and V models which are, instead, 287.9 on the total. The vehicle density (number of vehicles per km2 of municipal area) is 725.9 vehicles per km2, with an increase of 1.1% compared to 2010: In 49 municipalities there is a vehicle density above average, with maximum value in Naples (6,323.2), followed in order by Milan (5,313.5), Turin (5,248.0), Aosta14 (4,582.7), Palermo (3,488.0).
How is theair we breathe?
The air is more and more polluted: compared to 2010, the average number of days in which the limit value for the protection of human health of PM10 was exceeded increased from 44.6 to 54.4 days. The situation is improving in the municipal waste sector although waste is still high. In 2011 the amount of waste decreased by 3.1%, going from 609 kg per capita in 2010 to 590. The percentage of separate collection on the total urban waste continues to grow (+ 1.8% compared to 2010), in 2011 is at 33.4.
How to limit air pollution?
It could be a good and healthy rule to use public transport more and less private cars: the use of public transport (bus, tram, metro, train), bicycle or one's own legs is the best way to help the environment . The average temperature of the classrooms and offices could be lowered by just one degree centigrade: 10% of the CO2 emissions of the school and public offices.
You should acquire more conscientious habits, such as turning off the lighted lamp where you do not need artificial light: if you turn off a 60 W lamp for 5 hours a day, in a year you can save about 80 kg of CO2. Even recycling the paper can reduce theissue of dangerous gases. To produce paper, energy is needed, trees are felled and chemicals are used, such as binders, whiteners and solvents, which produce air pollution.
Another sore point is waste that emits a large quantity of dangerous gases into the atmosphere: for every kilogram of organic waste, 0.31 kg of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, is produced. Therefore it would be advisable to choose products packaged with recyclable packaging: differentiating and recycling waste means producing less gases that are harmful to the environment.
Be careful when shopping: prefer packages with less packaging, for example detergents or other without cardboard box, mayonnaise ditto, maxi sizes for shower gel and shampoos that have less packaging in proportion to the content, use soap bars instead of liquid soaps. For grocery shopping, use reusable cotton bags. Finally, color the surrounding environment with plants green: they are in fact able to remove large quantities of some of the main gaseous pollutants (CO2, NOx, CO, SO2, O3, etc.) and inhalable dust.