Nice weather in NL, but dirty air
Weather in The Netherlands has been relatively nice over the last few days, but the air is at the moment dirty and unhealthy. Weeronline.nl announced on Wednesday that a combination of atmospheric particulate matter, birch pollen an dust from the Sahara is hanging in the air.
The wind is coming from a southerly and easterly direction, which means that it is bringing harmful particulate matter over land from Belgium and the Ruhr area in Germany. High levels of industry in those areas, and the burning of oil contribute to these particulates.
Particulate matter is made up of particles of 10 micrometers or less that can come from manmade or natural sources and can be harmful to health.
Sahara dust is blowing to The Netherlands at higher levels as well. It is visible as a brown glow on the horizon, weeronline.nl says.
People suffering from hay fever are also more affected from birch pollen that is floating in the atmosphere earlier than it usually does.
According to the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), there is "moderate smog" in The Netherlands at this time. Smog is also harmful to health, but according to a spokesperson for he Institute, an official smog warning is not necessary at this level.
Wind from the sea is expected for this weekend, blowing in clean air. Authorities in Britain, where Sahara dust clouds and particulates are also polluting the air, have recommended that elderly with lung and heart complaints, as well as asthmatics should not over-exert themselves outside.