Walloon website provides real-time air quality info
The Walloon Minister of the Environment, Céline Tellier (Ecolo), recently introduced a brand new website meant to inform citizens – in real-time – about the quality of the air. According to the last report of the European Agency for the Environment, the air pollution remains the most critical threat to health in Europe. It causes more than 400 000 premature deaths in the entire European Union.
In Belgium alone, the number of premature deaths caused by three of the most polluting substances in the air is estimated at more than 11 000 annually. “Focusing on the quality of the air, therefore, is essential.”
The website ‘Wallonair.be’, which is the result of close collaboration of the Walloon Agency of Air and Climate, the Interregional Cell for the Environment, and Sciensamo, among others), is destined for citizens as well as experts. The main goal is to provide permanent monitoring.
Worst polluting element
The site shows the map of Wallonia on which colored dots indicate whether the air quality is ‘excellent’ or ‘terrible’. By clicking on Walloon cities, users have access to recommendations. Prognoses for the coming days are also available.
Another interesting detail is that the user can identify which polluting substance is most present in the air at the time of the consultation: nitrogen, ozone, particles…
In the more complete version, also available for everybody, the tool also provides other information like weather forecasts or infographics showing a dynamic view on the quality of the air in the coming 48 hours. By subscribing to the site, citizens can also obtain pollution alerts via email or on their smartphones.
“In 2021, we’re going to further complete the network of measuring points by installing 350 additional sensors,” the Minister concludes. “We have to measure to know the situation and to be able to (re)act.”