Most polluted air spotted in northwest town

Most polluted air spotted in northwest town

EDİRNE – Doğan News Agency
Most polluted air spotted in northwest town

DHA photo

The northwestern town of Keşan is home to the worst air pollution in Turkey, figures from the Environment Ministry have revealed.

Keşan, a district in Edirne province, has the most polluted air, partly due to the large amounts of coal that are used for heating, the Turkish Environment and Urbanization Ministry said.

Most Keşan residents suffer respiratory diseases because of lignite burning and greenhouse gas emissions stemming from unsustainable heating methods, particularly during evening hours. Some residents also suffer from inhalation problems because air pollution in Keşan has increased seven times the vital threshold. 

“The sulfur dioxide (SO2) amount in Keşan, Edirne, is currently around 2,746 ug/m3. The number is too high. The vital threshold in the U.S. is 300. That is even an alarming level there,” said Mikdat Kadıoğlu from Istanbul University’s Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

“According to the regulation dealing with air quality in Turkey, authorities should take immediate action on the SO2 amount in Keşan that is so much higher than the vital threshold of 1,101 ug/m3,” Kadıoğlu said.

Keşan Mayor Mehmet Özcan told state-run Anadolu Agency that the lasting solution to Keşan’s air pollution problem would be to use gas for heating, recalling that Keşan Municipality had made repeated calls to bring gas to the northwestern town.

 The air pollution level in the northwestern town has also drawn reactions from nongovernmental organizations as well as local administrative bodies.

“Low-quality coal use is the main reason for air pollution in Keşan,” Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Keşan Representative Tanju Şapçı said.

“Supervisions over air-polluting organizations and businesses have [only] been sporadically conducted,” Şapçı said.