According to a new report from Spanish group Ecologistas en Acción based on figures collected in 2011, 94 per cent of Spaniards are breathing air that exceeds the safe pollution levels recommended by the World Health Organization and 22 per cent of the population – 10.4 million people – are breathing air that exceeds European legal pollution limits.
Madrid has the worst record for air pollution levels, and one of the blackest spots is the area around its central Retiro Park. Other cities with areas that consistently show high levels of air pollution are Barcelona, Granada, Palma de Mallorca and Bilbao, according to the Environment Ministry.
Ecologistas en Acción say that although there has been a slight reduction in air pollution levels since 2008, this is attributed more to the depression that has hit the Spanish economy, which has prompted a reduction in car use, rather than any measures taken by the government or its agencies.
Source: AECC Newsletter, September-October 2012.
The report: http://www.ecologistasenaccion.org/article24171.html