Smog situation is back

The city may reconsider free public transportation if it gets worse

A smog situation has returned to much of the Czech Republic including Prague and Central Bohemia. The smog situation also extends into the Pardubice, Hradec Králové and Zlín regions, with extreme conditions in part of the Moravia-Silesia region.

Under extreme conditions, a legal regulation goes into effect limiting some industries. These regulations may become stricter in the future.

Prague is once again asking people to voluntarily use public transportation instead of driving. When the city made a similar request during the previous smog situation, it had little effect. Traffic experts say that unless there is a mandatory regulation, the number of cars won't decrease. A legal requirement may be introduced in the future.

If the situation in Prague deteriorates, the city may re-examine the introduction of free public transportation. During the smog situation in January, the city in the end decided not to use that option, as the smog was clearing up by the time it came to a vote.

People in the affected areas should take some precautions, especially people with chronic respiratory conditions, heart disease, the elderly and young children. People should avoid physical stress associated with rapid respiratory rate.

A smog situation is declared when airborne particles of a size designated as PM10 exceed the limit of 100 micrograms per cubic meter for 12 hours and are not expected to drop below that threshold for 24 hours.

The regulation limiting some industry takes effect if at least half of the stations in a region over 12 hours show average concentrations of airborne particles exceeding a limit of 150 micrograms per cubic meter, and the situation is not expected to change for 24 hours.

The current smog situation is caused by cold temperatures, inversion and lack of wind. It A temperature inversion is an increase in temperature with height, which creates an inversion layer. An inversion can lead to pollution being trapped close to the ground.

For Information about air quality in the Czech Republic visit portal.chmi.cz (CZ)

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