Few cities in Turkey ‘breathable,’ research says
Just two provinces and two districts in Turkey possess breathable air, according to recent research carried out by the Turkish Thoracic Society.
The eastern province of Tunceli, the Black Sea province of Artvin, the Biga district of the Marmara province of Çanakkale and the Doğankent district of the southern province of Adana are the only four regions that have clean air in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria, daily BirGün reported on April 11.
According to the Turkish Thoracic Society, which works to enhance lung health in Turkey, the particulate matter pollution in the eastern province of Muş, the Doğubeyazıt district of the eastern province of Ağrı, the neighboring province of Iğdır, the western province of Tekirdağ’s center and the Hürriyet district of the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri are five times higher than the upper limit.
Moreover, in Istanbul and the western province of İzmir, the level is two times higher than the upper limit, while it is three times higher in the capital of Ankara.
According to the report, the risk of lung diseases and cancer will increase if coal power plants are built in the northwestern province of Bursa, the Black Sea province of Zonguldak and the southern provinces of Mersin, Adana and Hatay, which all have pollution levels between two and four times higher than the upper limit.
Hospitals most often encounter respiratory tract infections, especially in children between the ages of 0 and 14.
According to data, 29,000 lost their lives due to air pollution in the last year – a figure which is six times higher than the number of people killed in traffic accidents.
In 2016, some 150,000 people applied to a health institution because of a disease that developed due to air pollution in Istanbul, resulting in 9 million Turkish Liras in social security spending for their care.