Moscow’s air contains dangerous levels of tiny particles, warn health officials

Wildfires that started in mid-July 2010 in the Central and Volga federal districts of the Russian Federation have produced a dense plume of smoke over hundreds of kilometres and created serious health risks.

Close to the fires, smoke is a health risk because it contains small particles that can irritate the eyes and respiratory system and hazardous gases.

Moscow’s air contains particulate matter at dangerous levels, according to the World Health Organisation.

According to the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation, on 11 August 2010 fires were active in 22 regions of the country, had killed 53 people and had caused particularly difficult situations in the Belgorod, Voronezh, Ivanovo, Lipetsk, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Ryazan and Tambov regions and in Mordovia and Chuvashia.

On a smaller scale, wildfires and extreme heat conditions continue also in other countries, including Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Romania, Greece and Portugal.