Investing in monitoring units is not a decision that should depend on a better or worse air quality in a city. In this sense, Donostia, with a population of nearly 190,000 people and thousands of tourists arriving every year, benefits from favourable air quality conditions.
Its coastal location and the effect of the sea breeze facilitate the dispersion of air pollutants. Thus, except in some isolated episodes, air quality indexes remain within the legal limits set forth by the European Union. However, the more restrictive values recommended by the World Health Organisation are often exceeded, as indicated by the report submitted by Ecologists in Action ‘Air Quality in Spain in 2019‘.
Nonetheless, two relevant aspects must be taken into account, as they might influence future decisions:
- No pollution level is safe; therefore, any long-term exposure can be harmful (3).
- Europe aims at tightening its directives and reducing its limits so that they match those set by the WHO.
Thus, a proactive attitude, and staying ahead of any developments is a wonderful strategy for making people the focus of attention.