News Local Nicosia air pollution costs residents a year of their lives

Nicosia air pollution costs residents a year of their lives

Nicosia residents lose on average a year of their lives due to high levels of air pollution, professor Jean Sciare director of the Energy Environment and Water Research Center (EEWRC) of the Cyprus Institute, said.

According to Sciare, Cyprus’ air pollution levels are above the EU limit as air quality is significantly affected by dust levels from Africa and fossil fuel emissions from the Middle East.

Cyprus is located in a a major air-pollution region, Sciare said, as the Eastern-Mediterranean and Middle East area is also regularly affected by dust storms, dryness, and heat extremes, as well as high levels of particulate matter (PM).

Around 400 people die prematurely and 8,000 years of life are lost per year in Cyprus because of particulate matter, Sciare said.

The economic cost of air pollution is around 748.16 million euro, 3.3% of the country’s GDP annual GDP, the professor added.

However, despite regional causes, 2/3 of the air-pollution in Nicosia is emitted locally. “Local emissions account for 2/3 of total concentrations and therefore steps can be taken for their mitigation,” Sciare said.

The Institute found that the main sources of pollution were traffic (17%), cooking (15%), primary biomass burning (16%), secondary biomass burning (16%), while 35% was caused by dust and activities in the region.

Yearly average PM1 levels in Nicosia were calculated at 22μg per cubic metre, with December being the month with the most pollution (30.5μg), due to wood burning.

According to Sciare, this figure is higher than that of Paris, whose average air pollution is measured at 20μg per cubic metre.

“The high levels of air pollution in December are attributed to woodburning fragments, from burning wood in fireplaces,” Sciare said, adding that 2/3 of Nicosia’s pollution in December came from woodburning fragments.

Fireplaces are major pollutants, since they are the most “primitive form” of heating. “They do not use any technology. When we light fireplaces we are burning wood in the same way we did thousands of years ago,” Sciare said.

Top Stories

122 new cases, one death announced on Friday

The Health Ministry announced the death of one person due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 179,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Saturday

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Saturday, 23 January 2021: LIMASSOL Grigoris Afxentiou Square 08:30-16:30 Gafkos Clerides Park, Germasoyia 08:30-16:30 Municipal Hall Ypsonas...

Civil servants’ trade union requests psychological support for health professionals

PASYDY, the civil servants’ trade union requested psychological support for health professionals due to the consequences of COVID-19 on their health. The trade union noted...

Scientific advisory committee to convene on Monday under President Anastasiades

Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, will preside on Monday morning over a meeting of the scientific advisory committee on COVID-19. According to CNA information, during the...

Polish medics depart for Slovakia to help mass testing

A group of 200 Polish medics departed for neighbouring Slovakia on Friday (January 22) to help in a week-long testing campaign in the central...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...